Barely 21 days after the Federal Government confirmed the presence of Ebola in the country, another nurse has contracted the disease. The nurse, who was one of those who treated the late Patrick Sawyer, had been under surveillance in her husband’s place. She has now been quarantined, while the husband has been placed under surveillance. She lives alone with her husband. They have just been newly married. The nurse is now among the list of 10 cases so far confirmed in Nigeria, while her husband who was living in the same house with her, has joined a list of 177 persons under surveillance for different levels of contact with Sawyer (through direct, primary or tertiary contacts). The confirmed cases of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease ( EVD) seem to be growing by the day. All the confirmed cases so far are those who participated in treating Sawyer who brought the disease to Nigeria. And following well-established World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols some of the individuals receiving treatment in Lagos are getting better from the Ebola disease, officials confirmed yesterday.
The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, briefed reporters alongside his colleagues from the Ministries of Information, Environment, Youth and Interior in Abuja where the latest updates were given. Meanwhile, Spain has imported a United States-made experimental Ebola drug to treat a Spanish missionary priest evacuated from Liberia last week after testing positive for the killer virus. Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. of San Diego, was obtained in Geneva this weekend and brought to Madrid to treat Miguel Pajares. The 75-year-old priest was placed in isolation Thursday at Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital. Spain said it obtained permission from the laboratory developing the drug and, under an agreement between WHO and the Doctors Without Borders charity group, imported the drug from Geneva where it said a dose had been available. The ministry said Spain sought the drug under legislation permitting use of unauthorised medication in patients suffering from a life-threatening illness who cannot be treated satisfactorily with any authorised drug.
Briefing the press yesterday, Chukwu said: “The 10th case actually was one of the nurses who also had primary contact with the index case. When she got ill, we brought her into isolation. We just tested her at the weekend. So that is what made it 10. So between Friday and today we had one additional case. So that brings it to 10 and the 10 includes the index case. It also includes the nurse, the only Nigerian so far who has died from the disease.”