Members of the National Assembly are not exempted from the panic over spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country, as many of them expressed their fears for the dreaded disease by refusing handshakes, displaying use of hand sterilizers among other preventive measures to protect themselves, during a public hearing on the disease, Ebola in Abuja, today.
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The session which was chaired by Chairman House Committee on Health Hon. Ndidi Elumelu, was also attended by Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the Health Minister.
The Health Minister disclosed today that a nurse who was among the medical personnel that attended to the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who died of Ebola virus in Lagos on July 25, has died of the same disease.
“Nigeria has now recorded 7 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVB)” health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said.
Those who have died include the “index patient,” a Liberian who brought the virus to Lagos on July 20, and a nurse who treated him, the minister added.
“All the Nigerians diagnosed with EBV were primary contacts” of Patrick Sawyer, who worked for Liberia’s finance ministry and contracted the virus from his sister, Chukwu said.
Patrick Sawyer travelled to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, for a meeting of west African officials.
Visibly sick upon arrival at the international airport in Lagos, officials said he was immediately transferred to the First Consultants hospital in the upmarket Ikoyi neighbourhood.
He died in quarantine on July 25 and the hospital has since been closed.
The five Ebola patients are being treated in an isolation ward in Lagos, the minister told journalists.
Since breaking out earlier this year, the tropical virus has claimed almost 900 lives and infected more than 1,603 people across west Africa. The other cases have been reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.