BY ABIOSE ADELAJA ADAMS
Four more people who were infected with the Ebola Disease have been discharged from hospital having been certified free form the virus, the minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Monday.
The first person to survive the virus, a female doctor, was discharged on Saturday while four additional persons, including two male medical doctors and a female nurse, were discharged today.
“The three participated in the treatment of the index case while the fourth person was a female patient at the time the index was on admission,” Chukwu explained, adding that it “brings to five the total number of patients diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease who have now been managed successfully and are now Ebola disease free.”
Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian American brought the disease to Lagos on July 20 and was admitted at the First Consultant Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos, where he died on July 25.
Ever since then, a total of 12 people who had primary contact with him have tested positive to the disease. Four, including Sawyer, have died while 195 persons were put under surveillance.
Out of the eight who are alive, five are have now been discharged while three are still recovering at the Isolation Ward of Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said that 61 of the people under surveillance have been cleared after 21 days since their contact with the index case.
The discharge of the five Ebola patients, coming after four deaths, has come as cheery news to many Nigerians, particularly as the fatality rate among the infected had been high.
However, it is expected that even after their discharge, the survivors would be taken through “discharge protocol” which would limit their contact with people. The World Health Organization has also said that the virus can be present in the semen of men even seven days after recovery.
Speaking about the treatment and recovery of the patients, the Lagos commissioner for Special Duties, Wale Ahmed, had hinted that while in isolation, the patients were being treated with rehydration solution to replace the lost body water while electrolytes; antibiotics and pain relievers were also administered to manage the fever and high body temperatures.