Ebola in Rivers: Doctor, Pharmacist, quarantined

Three people – a doctor, a pharmacist and another person – among those who had primary contact with the late Dr. Ikechukwu Sam Enemuo, the first Ebola victim in Rivers State, have been quarantined after showing symptoms of the virus.

The results of their tests are however still being awaited. The late doctor Emenuo’s widow, who has tested positive to the virus is receiving treatment in Lagos.

Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sampson Parker stated this on Sunday in an update on the outbreak of Ebola in Port Harcourt.

Dr. Enemuo contracted the virus and died on August 22 in Port Harcourt. He became the sixth Nigerian to die of the virus after secretly treating a Nigerian official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Oluibukun Koye in a hotel in Port Harcourt.

Koye, who contracted Ebola after having primary contact with the Index case in Nigeria Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, escaped from quarantine in Lagos where he was treated by Dr. Enemuo.

While Koye is free of the virus, Dr. Enemuo, Chief Medical Director of Samsteel Hospital in Rumuokoro, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, died of the virus.

He was the third medical doctor to die of the virus.

The commissioner said the doctor and pharmacist started managing Enemuo’s case at his hospital, before he was moved to Good Hart Hospital, where he died.

Also moved to the quarantine centre according to the commissioner is a patient who was on admission at the Good Hart Hospital where Enemuo was admitted until he died. Results of their samples were being awaited.

The commissioner said 50 among the 200 people on the contact tracing list are classified to be high risk while 60 of them could not be reached even on the telephone. Some of them, he said are people who had direct contact with Dr. Enemuo at his hospital after he contracted the virus.

Parker announced other measures taken by the Rivers State Government to include: banning movement of bodies within and outside the state, bagging of Dr. Enemuo’s body and decontaminating the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital morgue and the attendants placed under watch; a meeting by Governor Chibuike Amaechi with religious leaders on Sunday and traditional rulers Monday, to sensitise them and mobilise them on how to educate their followers and subjects on the virus.

The commissioner assured residents of the governments’ readiness to fight the disease in collaboration with the Federal Government’s Ebola Emergency Response team and other International Agencies and NGOs including, WHO and Doctors Without Border (MSF).

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