BY ABIOSE ADELAJA ADAMS
Ni geria might soon be declared free of the Ebola Virus Diseases, EVD, as the Health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, announced on Tuesday that only one Ebola patient is left in the isolation Ward of the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos.
If this lone patient is discharged in the next few days and no new cases are recorded, following international protocol, the country can declare itself free from the disease.
This minister’s announcement followed the discharge of two people, one of the nurses and a doctor, who managed the index case, Patrick Sawyer, bringing the total number of survivors of the Ebola Virus Disease to seven out of a total of 13 cases.
“As of Tuesday, only one Ebola patient remained in isolation in Nigeria, down from the 13 cases the country confirmed since the outbreak of the virus in July,” Chukwu said at a press conference.
“Ebola has been curtailed,” the minister said, adding that the “129 people under surveillance have completed the 21day observation period and only a person is symptomatic and is being observed.”
The deadly virus was first brought to Nigeria, on July 20, when an infected Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, imported it into Lagos.
Breaking down the cases, Chukwu said so far Nigeria had 13 cases including the index case. Five of those infected died, while seven have successfully recovered and have been discharged.
Ebola has a case fatality rate of up to 90 per cent. Experts say, however, that with early detection, good management amongst other factors, deaths can be reduced to as low as 60 per cent.
In Nigeria’s case, the survivor rate has been impressive.
The WHO had on August 19, commended Nigeria saying, “the intensity of the search and monitoring effort raises cautious optimism that further spread of the virus in Nigeria can be stopped.”
As a way of preventing a recurrence such as late Sawyer’s case, the minister said some equipment are being provided for the 49 land borders to screen everyone coming into the country.