First Nigerian Death From Ebola Confirmed

The minister Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has confirmed that one of the female nurses who attended to the late Patrick Sawyerr, the Liberia-American, who died of the Ebola virus in Lagos last month, is dead.

Chukwu disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, noting that Nigerian has recorded its first indigenous death from the Ebola virus and that seven other cases of infection have been confirmed, including one of the doctors who treated the late Sawyerr.

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The seven others infected persons are believed to be health workers who treated the Liberian who flew into the country sick from the virus and died days later on July 25.

The minister said all the Ebola cases are being treated in isolation in Lagos.

In view of the newly confirmed cases, the federal government has reached out to United States health authorities for access to the experimental drug used to treat two American volunteer doctors – Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol – who were infected with the disease while treating Ebola patients in Liberia.

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The experimental “secret Serum” is said to have had an almost immediate effect on the doctors and their health improved considerably.

Chukwu, however, expressed confidence in the committee of medical and health experts constituted by the government to develop a drug for the treatment of the virus.

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“Nobody says that new, fresh ideas cannot come out of Nigeria. We should not underestimate the intelligence of Nigerians. I do not underestimate the intelligence of our professionals, I believe something positive is going to come out,” he said.

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