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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:37 pm 
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Ebola situation in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Situation assessment - 3 September 2014

The Minister of Health of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, has now reported 3 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt, the country’s oil hub. Additional suspected cases are being investigated.

Background on the Port Harcourt index case

Ebola virus was imported into Nigeria via an infected air traveller, who entered Lagos on 20 July and died 5 days later. One close contact of the Lagos case fled the city, where he was under quarantine, to seek treatment in Port Harcourt.

The close contact was treated, from 1 to 3 August, at a Port Harcourt hotel, by what would turn out to be the city’s index case. This case was a male physician who developed symptoms of weakness and fever on 11 August and died of Ebola on 22 August. His infection was confirmed on 27 August by the virology laboratory at Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

The male physician in Port Harcourt is therefore indirectly linked to Nigeria’s first case.

The case history of the index case in Port Harcourt is important, as it reveals multiple high-risk opportunities for transmission of the virus to others.

After onset of symptoms, on 11 August, and until 13 August, the physician continued to treat patients at his private clinic, and operated on at least two. On 13 August, his symptoms worsened; he stayed at home and was hospitalized on 16 August.

Prior to hospitalization, the physician had numerous contacts with the community, as relatives and friends visited his home to celebrate the birth of a baby.

Once hospitalized, he again had numerous contacts with the community, as members of his church visited to perform a healing ritual said to involve the laying on of hands. During his 6 day period of hospitalization, he was attended by the majority of the hospital’s health care staff.

On 21 August, he was taken to an ultrasound clinic, where 2 physicians performed an abdominal scan. He died the next day.

The additional 2 confirmed cases are his wife, also a doctor, and a patient at the same hospital where he was treated. Additional staff at the hospital are undergoing tests.

Given these multiple high-risk exposure opportunities, the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos.

The response

Nigerian health workers and WHO epidemiologists are monitoring more than 200 contacts. Of these, around 60 are considered to have had high-risk or very high-risk exposure.

The highest-risk exposures occurred in family members and in health care workers and patients at the facility where the index case was hospitalized. Church members who visited the index case while he was hospitalized are also considered at high risk.

The government, supported by WHO, UNICEF, and MSF (Doctors without Borders), has introduced a number of emergency measures. More will be introduced later this week.

An Ebola Emergency Operations Centre has been activated, with support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A mobile laboratory, with RT-PCR diagnostic capacity, is set up and functional.

A 26-bed isolation facility for the management of Ebola cases is in place, with plans for possible expansion. WHO has 15 technical experts on the ground.

Twenty-one contact-tracing teams are at work; they have good training, provided by WHO, and adequate transportation, thanks to government support. Two decontamination teams are equipped and operational, as is a burial team.

Port Harcourt is the capital of Rivers State. WHO, together with the Rivers State Port Health Service, has assessed public health measures at airport gates and other points of entry. Screening is under way at domestic and international airport gates.

Social mobilization efforts have been stepped up, initially targeting key community and religious leaders.

However, civil unrest, security issues, and public fear of Ebola create serious problems that could hamper response operations. Military escorts are needed for movements into the isolation and treatment centre.

WHO media contacts:
Fadéla Chaib
Telephone: + 41 22 791 3228
Mobile:+ 41 79 475 55 56
Email: chaibf@who.int

Tarik Jasarevic
Mobile: +41 793 676 214
Tel: +41 22 791 5099
E-mail: jasarevict@who.int

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebo ... r-2014/en/

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:46 pm 
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WHO: NEW EBOLA FEARS MOUNT IN NIGERIA
By KRISTA LARSON and MARIA CHENG
— Sep. 3, 2014 2:51 PM EDT

Image
Health workers spray the body of a amputee suspected of dying from the Ebola virus with disinfectant, in a busy street in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Food in countries hit by Ebola is getting more expensive and will become scarcer because many farmers won't be able to access fields, a U.N. food agency warned Tuesday. An Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,500 people, and authorities have cordoned off entire towns in an effort to halt the virus' spread. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
Liberia Ebola

Health workers spray the body of an amputee suspected of dying from the Ebola virus with disinfectant, in a busy street in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Food in countries hit by Ebola is getting more expensive and will become scarcer because many farmers won't be able to access fields, a U.N. food agency warned Tuesday. An Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,500 people, and authorities have cordoned off entire towns in an effort to halt the virus' spread. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — An ill doctor in southern Nigeria exposed dozens of people to the Ebola virus by continuing to treat patients before his death, the World Health Organization warned Wednesday as it announced the toll across West Africa had surged above 1,900 fatalities.

Officials in Nigeria had believed that Ebola was largely contained within Africa's most populous country after a sick traveler from Liberia brought the disease to Lagos. However, a man who had had contact with the ill visitor later evaded his surveillance and traveled to the oil hub of Port Harcourt where he triggered a second cluster of cases.

A Port Harcourt doctor and another patient there are now dead, and the doctor's widow and sister are sick with Ebola. About 60 other people are under surveillance after having "high-risk" or "very high-risk" contact with the infected doctor, WHO said. More than 140 others are also being monitored.

"Given these multiple high-risk exposure opportunities, the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos," WHO warned.

Nigeria's health minister has said there is no reason for people to panic in Port Harcourt.

The U.N. health agency, though, said it feared civil unrest and public fear of Ebola could further the crisis, saying "military escorts are needed for movements into the isolation and treatment center."

Nigeria's Ebola toll so far has been limited in comparison to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where hundreds have died in each country. Nigerian authorities say five people have died in Lagos, and the doctor in Port Harcourt and the other fatality there bring the national toll to seven.

The man who infected the Port Harcourt doctor was later found after a four-day manhunt and is recovering.

WHO said Wednesday that the physician continued to see patients after the onset of Ebola symptoms and even operated on two people. Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, and health authorities say patients are only contagious once they show symptoms.

"Prior to hospitalization, the physician had numerous contacts with the community, as relatives and friends visited his home to celebrate the birth of a baby," WHO said in a statement.

"Once hospitalized, he again had numerous contacts with the community, as members of his church visited to perform a healing ritual said to involve the laying on of hands. During his six-day day period of hospitalization, he was attended by the majority of the hospital's health care staff."

The announcement from WHO did not specify whether the health care staff wore gloves or other protective gear when treating him.

Getting protective gear to health workers in the affected areas and ensuring that they receive hazard pay are top priorities for combatting the crisis, said Dr. David Nabarro, who is coordinating the U.N. response to the outbreak.

Doctors and nurses have been especially vulnerable to Ebola because they work closely with Ebola patients, whose bodily fluids spread the virus. Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, from the Boston area, is currently infected in Liberia, his missionary organization said Wednesday.

Two other Americans already have been evacuated back to the United States and have recovered from Ebola. Both received an experimental drug known as ZMapp. The company has said that all of its doses are now exhausted, and it will be months before more can be made.

It is also still not clear if the drug is effective, since human trials have not yet been carried out. Two of the people who received ZMapp died, while five others survived.

___

Cheng reported from London. Associated Press writers Sarah DiLorenzo in Dakar, Senegal and Gregory Katz in London also contributed to this report.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/british- ... -treatment

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:37 pm 
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GENEVA (Reuters) - A Nigerian doctor with Ebola carried on treating patients and met scores of friends, relatives and medics before his death, leaving about 60 of them at high risk of infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Members of his church visited him in hospital in the oil hub Port Harcourt and performed a healing ceremony "said to involve the laying on of hands", said the U.N. agency.

"Given these multiple high-risk exposure opportunities, the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos," the WHO said.

More than 1,900 people have died in West Africa in the world's worst outbreak of Ebola, WHO director-general Margaret Chan said earlier on Wednesday, marking a major acceleration in fatalities from just over 1,500 last week.

Nigeria's health minister said the country now had 18 Ebola cases, after a fourth case surfaced in Port Harcourt, which is home to many expatriate workers in major international oil companies.

The virus can be spread by direct contact with body fluids and secretions of an infected person or during traditional burial rituals, the WHO says.

NUMEROUS CONTACTS

The doctor, whom the WHO did not name, was infected by a man who fled quarantine in Lagos, who was himself linked to the first case in Africa's most populous country, a Liberian man who sought treatment in Lagos.

The doctor's wife and one of his patients had since caught the deadly disease and 200 people who came into contact with him were being monitored for symptoms including fever and muscle pain, followed by vomiting and diarrhoea, the WHO said.

Of these, around 60 are considered to have had high-risk or very high-risk exposure, it said.

Two days after developing the symptoms on Aug. 11, he went on treating patients at his private clinic and operated on two of them, the WHO statement said.

"Prior to hospitalisation, the physician had numerous contacts with the community, as relatives and friends visited his home to celebrate the birth of a baby," the WHO added.

During his six days in hospital before dying on Aug. 22, he came into contact with the members of his church and was "attended by the majority of the hospital’s health care staff."

There is now a 26-bed isolation facility for Ebola cases in Port Harcourt, "with plans for possible expansion", the WHO said.

Travellers are being screened at domestic and international airport gates in the city, the capital of Rivers State, it said.

Efforts have been stepped up to educate the public about the disease with the help of local religious and community leaders, the WHO said.

"However, civil unrest, security issues, and public fear of Ebola create serious problems that could hamper response operations. Military escorts are needed for movements into the isolation and treatment centre," it said.

There is no cure or vaccine although an experimental drug made by a U.S.-based Mapp Pharmaceutical Inc. has been given to several patients who survived. The virus can kill up to 90 percent of those infected.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
http://www.thestar.com.my/News/World/20 ... risk--WHO/

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Quarantine escapee sparked more Ebola in Nigeria

Robert Roos | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Sep 03, 2014

The man escaped quarantine in Lagos and sought care in Port Harcourt, both in southern Nigeria.
A contact of Nigeria's first Ebola patient fled quarantine in August and passed the disease to a doctor, who subsequently infected at least two other people, offering a textbook example of how not to deal with the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.

The episode extended Ebola's reach in Nigeria from Lagos, the capital, to Port Harcourt, the country's oil hub on the southeastern coast. Because of the number of people exposed to the doctor, the outbreak in Port Harcourt could grow bigger than the original outbreak in Lagos, the WHO said.

Meanwhile, a trio of United Nations (UN) and WHO officials today again stressed the urgent need to expand the international response to West Africa's Ebola epidemic, but insisted that the governments of the affected countries must remain in charge of efforts within their borders. The officials estimated that the international effort will cost at least $600 million.

Port Harcourt cases
A sick airline passenger, Patrick Sawyer, spread Ebola virus to Nigeria when he flew from Liberia to Lagos on Jul 20; he died on Jul 25. One of Sawyer's close contacts in Lagos fled the city, where he was under quarantine, to seek treatment in Port Harcourt, the WHO said in today's statement.

The contact was treated from Aug 1 to 3 by a male physician at a Port Harcourt hotel. The physician fell ill on Aug 11, but for 2 days afterward he continued treating patients at his private clinic, operating on at least two of them, the WHO said.

On Aug 13 his symptoms worsened, and he then stayed home until he was hospitalized on Aug 16, the WHO said. He died on Aug 22, and his Ebola virus disease (EVD) was confirmed on Aug 27 by a lab at Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

After he got sick, the doctor had numerous contacts with others, both before and after his hospitalization, the WHO said. In the hospital, members of his church visited him and performed a healing ritual said to involve the laying on of hands, and he was attended by most of the hospital staff.

The two people who caught the virus from the physician are his wife, also a doctor, and another patient at the hospital where he was treated, according to the WHO, which did not describe their conditions. Other hospital staff members are being tested.

"Given these multiple high-risk exposure opportunities, the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Port Harcourt has the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos," the agency said.

It said Nigerian health workers and WHO epidemiologists are monitoring more than 200 contacts, including about 60 believed to have had high-risk or very high-risk exposures.

The Port Harcourt cases apparently raise Nigeria's Ebola count to at least 20 cases and 7 deaths. The latest WHO general update on Ebola in West Africa, on Aug 28, put Nigeria's tally at 17 cases and 6 deaths.

Nigeria responds
The WHO said the Nigerian government has taken a number of emergency steps in response to the new cases, with support from the WHO, the UN Children's Fund, and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

The government has activated an Ebola emergency operations center, set up a 26-bed isolation facility, and put 21 teams to work on contact tracing. The emergency center is supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In addition, the WHO and local officials are assessing public measures at airport gates and other ports of entry in Port Harcourt.

But the agency warned that security problems and public fear of Ebola "create serious problems that could hamper response operations," with military escorts needed when moving patients into the Ebola treatment center.

WHO, UN officials underline urgency
At a press briefing in Washington, DC, today, WHO and UN officials again stressed the need to accelerate the response to West Africa's Ebola crisis.

"We're not in a position where we can afford to lose a day, because the outbreak is currently moving ahead of efforts to control it," said David Nabarro, MD, senior UN system coordinator for Ebola disease.

Nabarro, who just returned from a needs assessment trip to West Africa with the WHO's Keiji Fukuda, MD, said, "We need on the order of three to four times what is currently in place" in the way of resources to battle the epidemic.

He estimated that it will cost "at least $600 million and maybe a lot more to get the necessary support to the countries to get this under control."

Today's briefing followed a meeting in New York yesterday at which UN and other officials addressed UN member states to emphasize the seriousness of the Ebola situation in West Africa and urged them to send aid to the region.

Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security and environment, said he and Nabarro met with a wide range of officials and people at all levels during their visit to Monrovia, Liberia, and Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The main message they heard was about the lack of capacity to respond to the epidemic, including the lack of treatment centers, vehicles, protective equipment, and funds, he said.

"But of all things that are low in capacity, the most important is that we don't have enough people on the ground," including nurses, doctors, drivers, contact investigators, Fukuda said.

Aside from Nabarro's cost estimate, he, Fukuda, and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, declined to estimate just how many health workers or other types of resources are needed. They noted previously announced goals of reversing the trend in cases within 3 months and stopping transmission in 6 to 9 months.

They also stressed the obstacles caused by the Ebola-inspired cancellations of airline flights to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Chan said she has talked with experts from around the world who are willing to go to the region to provide infection control and clinical care, but because of flight cancellations, "We are unable to deploy them."

Reporters asked the three officials why, given the magnitude or the problem, they weren't calling for more of a military-style, "command and control" response, like the "massive mobilization" coordinated by the US Navy in response to the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia.

Nabarro replied that he believes it is possible to cope with the situation "with the institutions and resources we have," but added that scaling up the response sufficiently and fast enough is very difficult. "Over the next few days we are changing the way the WHO and UN works on this issue, and talking to governments to get them fully invested," he said. "We are talking to all other groups that could provide support."

He commented further, "The governments of the affected countries are in charge; our role is to help them do the job they need to do." He added that the UN aims to do all it can to ensure that responders are protected from infection.

Chan echoed the point about national sovereignty saying, "I don't think any government in this world will accept a takeover by others. So whatever we are doing, we are supporting national authorities to take the leadership."

UK patient released
In other developments, Royal Free Hospital in London today announced the release of William Pooley, a British nurse who contracted EVD in Sierra Leone and was treated at the hospital for 10 days. His treatment included the experimental drug ZMapp, which has been given to several other patients, including two Americans.

In addition, Nancy Writebol, an American missionary and medical worker who was flown back to the United States after contracting EVD in Liberia, talked about her illness and recovery at a press conference today. She was hospitalized at Emory University in Atlanta and was released Aug 19.

Writebol, who worked for the SIM (Service in Mission), said she initially thought she had malaria and was tested and treated for that disease. She said there were many times when she thought she wouldn't survive.

She said she didn't know if the ZMapp she received was what cured her, but suggested it was more the overall combination of treatment, prayers, and support from others that saw her through the illness.

Meanwhile, Bruce Johnson, president of SIM, identified the SIM worker who was recently infected with Ebola in Liberia as Rick Sacra, MD, a Boston doctor, according to a WSOC-TV news report on Writebol's press conference. Johnson said Sacra is in good spirits and communicating with his family by phone and the Internet, the story said.

Also today, the WHO released a list of 197 experts and officials who will take part in a WHO meeting in Geneva the next 2 days to discuss how experimental treatments and vaccines should be used in the Ebola epidemic.

In addition, the biopharmaceutical company Chimerix announced today that its investigational antiviral drug brincidofovir has shown in vitro activity against Ebola virus. The findings came in testing by the CDC and the US National Institutes of Health, the company said in a press release.

Chimerix said phase 3 trials of brincidofovir as a treatment for cytomegalovirus and adenovirus are currently under way. The company noted it will have representatives at the WHO meeting on Ebola treatments this week.

See also:

Sep 3 WHO statement on situation in Nigeria

Audio recording of Sep 3 UN press briefing

Sep 3 press release on release of William Pooley from Royal Free Hospital, London

Sep 3 WSOC-TV story on Nancy Writebol comments (with video link)

WHO's list of participants in Sep 4-5 meeting on Ebola interventions

Sep 3 Chimerix press release

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... la-nigeria

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:35 pm 
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W.H.O. Concerned About Another Ebola Cluster in Nigeria
By RICK GLADSTONESEPT. 3, 2014

The World Health Organization expressed worry on Wednesday about a second cluster of Ebola virus patients in Nigeria — in the center of its oil industry — because one of the three confirmed victims was a doctor who had treated patients and socialized after he became contagious.

The doctor, in the southern city of Port Harcourt, died on Aug. 22, and his infection was confirmed five days later. On its website, the W.H.O. said that more than 200 people might be at risk.

The W.H.O. said this second cluster had indirectly resulted from a quarantine lapse in the first cluster of Ebola cases that hit Lagos, the capital, in July, and was potentially far more serious. Tracing the spread of the disease in Port Harcourt, the statement said, revealed “multiple high-risk opportunities for transmission of the virus to others.”

Ebola has primarily afflicted three countries in West Africa — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — where hundreds of people have died in recent weeks in what W.H.O. officials have called the worst outbreak of the disease ever recorded. While the toll in Nigeria has been far more limited, officials are particularly worried about it because it is Africa’s most populous country.

The W.H.O. has been criticized by some other medical advocates for what they call its initial failure to mobilize adequately against Ebola when the outbreak surfaced in West Africa months ago.

The Lagos cases were traced to a traveler from Liberia, and Nigerian officials thought they had basically contained the spread. But the health organization’s statement said one person in Lagos escaped a quarantine in early August and sought treatment from a doctor in Port Harcourt, nearly 400 miles away. That doctor became infected and developed symptoms after a few days, was hospitalized on Aug. 16 and died of Ebola less than a week later.

Even as he developed symptoms, the statement said, the doctor “continued to treat patients at his private clinic, and operated on at least two.” Moreover, the statement said, before he was hospitalized the doctor “had numerous contacts with the community, as relatives and friends visited his home to celebrate the birth of a baby.”

It said visitors to his hospital room had included members of his church who performed a healing ritual that could have exposed them as well.

The other two confirmed cases in Port Harcourt are the dead doctor’s wife, who is also a doctor, and another patient at the same hospital. The W.H.O. statement said that epidemiologists were monitoring “more than 200 contacts” and that 60 were considered especially vulnerable.

It said the Ebola outbreak in Port Harcourt had “the potential to grow larger and spread faster than the one in Lagos.”

Discovered in 1976, Ebola is an aggressive virus that causes high fevers, extreme weakness and internal bleeding, with a fatality rate as high as 90 percent.

In Washington, the head of the W.H.O., Dr. Margaret Chan, said Wednesday at a news conference that there had been at least 3,500 Ebola cases, with more than 1,900 deaths. She called the outbreak “the largest and most severe and most complex we’ve ever seen in the nearly 40-year history of this disease.”

Last week, the organization, based in Geneva, said Ebola could afflict more than 20,000 people before it was brought under control.

A version of this article appears in print on September 4, 2014, on page A7 of the New York edition with the headline: W.H.O. Concerned About Another Ebola Cluster in Nigeria. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world ... .html?_r=0

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:48 pm 
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Ebola: death toll now 7, as Rivers female patient dies
Posted by: Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja in News Update 5 hours ago

….one patient discharged, two still in isolation
The number of death from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country has increased to seven.
The latest to die of the virus is the female patient who was on admission in the same hospital with the Port Harcourt Doctor, Iyke Enemuo.
Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu disclosed the death of the female patient in his latest update on the virus in the country .
“Total number of deaths from Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria is now seven (7). One (1), the index case, occurred in a private hospital in Lagos, four (4) in the Lagos isolation ward, one (1) in the Port Harcourt isolation ward (the female patient who was on admission in the same hospital where the late Port Harcourt doctor was also admitted), while another one (1) was the doctor who was infected by the ECOWAS Commission official in Port Harcourt and who did not come under the care and management of the Incident Management Committee.”
He also noted that another patient was however discharged following full recovery from the ailment.
The latest discharge brings to eight the number of patients discharged so far.
The last case to be discharged, the minister stated in a press statement issued by his media aide, Mr Dan Nwomeh “is the first secondary contact to be diagnosed and a spouse of a primary contact of the index case.”
He stated she went home from the isolation ward in Lagos Tuesday. (The 9th survivor is the ECOWAS Commission official who jumped surveillance in Lagos and travelled to Port Harcourt where he infected the doctor who attended to him).”
Also, confirmed cases in the country is now eighteen according to the minister’s update.
The eighteenth confirmed case he stated is the sister of the late Port Harcourt doctor.
Total number of cases successfully managed and discharged is now eight. While total number of EVD patients currently under treatment is two (2), one in the Lagos isolation ward and another one (1) in the Port Harcourt isolation ward.
Total number of contacts currently under surveillance in Lagos is forty one (41), while Port Harcourt has two hundred and fifty five (255) and the Total number of contacts discharged in Lagos after they were observed for 21 days is 320.
The minister also debunked rumours of EVD cases outside Lagos and Port Harcourt. These include the three (3) reported cases in the Federal Capital Territory and one case in Calabar.
The minister further debunked the story that the body of the late Port Harcourt doctor was transported to Edo or Delta State, saying the body has been decontaminated and will be interred in Port Harcourt.
On the the rumoured case in Zaria, the minister stated that the blood sample has been sent for Ebola testing.

http://thenationonlineng.net/new/ebola- ... ient-dies/

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:59 am 
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TOO SAD: Second Ebola Victim Dies In Port Harcourt
By Ekemini Ekwere | Staff Writer on September 4, 2014

The Federal Government on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 announced that a seventh person had died from Ebola and another person was confirmed as having the virus in Nigeria.

The latest death is an elderly woman who was treated in the same hospital with the doctor, Ike Enemuo, who died in Port Harcourt on August 22, 2014 after treating an Ebola patient.

Dr Enemuo fell ill and died after treating an official from the ECOWAS regional bloc who traveled to Port Harcourt from Lagos after having contact with Liberian man, Patrick Sawyer, who brought the virus into Nigeria.

The other five deaths were in Lagos. Four were healthcare workers who had treated Sawyer.

The ministry of health has confirmed 18 people, including the deceased, had now been confirmed as having the virus in Nigeria — fourteen in Lagos and four in Port Harcourt, 435 kilometres (270 miles) away.

Eight people who contracted the virus have been successfully treated and discharged, Nwomeh said in a series of statements on Twitter. A ninth person, who infected the Port Harcourt doctor, also recovered.

A total of 41 people were under surveillance in Lagos and 255 in Port Harcourt. And 320 people have been discharged in Lagos after being under surveillance for 21 days — the virus’ incubation period.

http://www.thetrentonline.com/sad-secon ... t-harcourt

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:18 am 
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Nigeria monitoring 400 contacts of doctor who died of Ebola
BY STEPHANIE NEBEHAY
GENEVA Thu Sep 4, 2014 5:56pm IST

A Kashmiri boy rows a boat in the front lawns of a submerged house in a flooded area during incessant rains in Srinagar September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

(Reuters) - Nigerian authorities are monitoring nearly 400 people for signs of Ebola after they came in contact with a Port Harcourt doctor who died of the disease but hid the fact that he had been exposed, a senior Nigerian health official said on Thursday.

Dr. Abdulsalami Nasidi, project director at Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said there was a sense of "hopelessness" due to the lack of proven drugs or vaccines to treat Ebola that has infected 18 people in Africa's most populous nation.

In an interview with Reuters in Geneva, he said that more isolation wards were being opened in the oil industry hub but voiced confidence that there would not be "many cases" there.

After having contact with an Ebola patient and before his own death on Aug. 22, the Port Harcourt doctor, named by local authorities as Iyke Enemuo, carried on treating patients and met scores of friends, relatives and medics, leaving about 60 of them at high risk of infection, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The doctor's wife, who is also a physician, and a patient in the same hospital have been infected with Ebola, the WHO said.

"Everything about this doctor was in secrecy, he violated our public health laws by treating a patient with a highly pathogenic agent who revealed to him that he had contact with Ebola and didn't want to be treated in Lagos because he might be put in isolation," Nasidi said.

"He treated him in secrecy outside hospital premises. When he became ill he did not reveal to his colleagues that he had contact with someone who contracted Ebola. He was taken to General Hospital, a private hospital that sees everybody.

"That is the only case that effectively escaped our surveillance network. We are paying now for it," Nasidi said.

He spoke on the sidelines of a two-day WHO experts meeting aimed at speeding development of Ebola drugs and vaccines.

The deadly virus can be spread by direct contact with body fluids and secretions of an infected person or during traditional burial rituals, the WHO says.

The latest outbreak has spread from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal and, with the death toll at more than 1,900 people as of Wednesday, has killed more people than all outbreaks since Ebola was first uncovered in 1976.

"People are living in a state of hopelessness seeing the disease has no cure and no vaccine but has great potential to spread," Nasidi said.

"380 CONTACTS IN OUR DRAGNET"

Nasidi said the Port Harcourt doctor was visited by friends and family in hospital, including some who "laid hands" on him.

"As we are talking now, we have more than 380 of such contacts in our dragnet," he said. Those at high risk are being quarantined, and some 500 volunteers and health care workers are checking on all exposed people twice a day, he said.

A 28-bed isolation ward for Ebola patients has opened in the city, which is home to many expatriate workers in major international oil companies, but authorities did not forecast many more cases, Nasidi said.

He said most of the exposed contacts were near the end of the 21-incubation period for the disease, which starts with fever and muscle pain, followed by vomiting and diarrhea.

"So we are monitoring and are sure we shan't miss out on any contacts that come out with infection that could be transmitted. A contact who has no symptoms doesn't transmit even if he has the virus. So this is why we are hopeful," he said.

The United Nations said on Wednesday that $600 million in supplies would be needed to fight West Africa's Ebola outbreak.

"We must fight Ebola because there is huge anxiety for our populations along with significant social and economic consequences," Younoussa Ballo, secretary-general of Guinea's health ministry, told Reuters at Thursday's talks. "Research must be speeded up to have medicines to confront this epidemic."

Human safety trials are due to begin this week on a vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline Plc and later this year on one from NewLink Genetics Corp. Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday that clinical trials of its vaccine would commence in early 2015, accelerated from late 2015 or early 2016.

NewLink founder Charles Link told Reuters in Geneva: "The clinical trials do take some time. Everybody is trying as hard and furiously as possible to move those trials forward as rapidly as possible with the regulations, scientific and ethical constraints.

"Just because we have the drugs we haven't shown anything about their effectiveness so we have to do these initial studies before it would be appropriate to release them on any kind of broader scale," he said.

"So that is really what our group is here for and a number of other groups like ours, is to try to coordinate those activities to do things at speeds that haven't be done before."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this week a federal contract worth up to $42.3 million would help accelerate testing of an experimental Ebola virus treatment being developed by privately held Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc.

(additional reporting by Antony Paone in Geneva; editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/09/0 ... rit=309303

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