Thursday 8 October 2015

Ebola Scare: Federal Govt dispatches medical team to Calabar as UCTH quarantines 15 persons

The authorities of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) on Thursday disclosed that 15 persons confirmed to have had contacts with a patient with “symptoms of mimicking viral hemorrhagic fever” have been quarantined.

As at Wednesday when the patient, a man, died at about 2p.m., there was general apprehension within and outside the hospital that the deceased had presented symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

In a quick reaction, the federal government dispatched a team of medical personnel to Calabar to ascertain the suspicion of Ebola threat.

But at a press conference on the development yesterday, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UCTH, Dr. Thomas Agan, while briefing journalists said a number of persons had been quarantined in the hospital.

Though the CMD did not mention their identities, sources said the health personnel that had contact with the deceased were among those quarantined.

Responding to a question concerning persons quarantined, the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital, Dr. Queeneth Kalu, who represented the CMD said: “I mentioned that in my statement, the number of people; 15 people.”

Before responding to questions, Kalu read a statement, saying that samples of the blood of the deceased had been sent for analysis while necessary medical and bodies in the country, and security agents had been contacted.

The statement read in part: “On Wednesday, of October 7, 2015, we managed a patient who presented symptoms mimicking viral hemorrhagic fever.
“Due to the remote chance of it being contagious, we have sent blood samples for testing and quarantined identified contacts.
“The following have been informed; National Centre for Disease Control, Federal Ministry of Health, the Cross River State Government, Calabar Municipality, Department of State Security (DSS).
“Further information will be made available as soon as we receive the result of the sample sent for analysis.”
The accident and emergency ward which was closed since Wednesday remained locked due to fears that trailed symptoms presented by the deceased.

The deceased whose identity could not be ascertained, was said to have been taken to the UCTH from Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday with very high body temperature.

Sources further disclosed that the patient was vomiting, stooling, and bleeding from the nose before he died.

Meanwhile, Cross River Government has said it was awaiting results of blood samples of the patient.
The Director of Public Health in the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Sunday Omini in his response, said: “We are aware of the situation and we have got preliminary reports from the hospital, and we are all awaiting the result of the blood samples.
“But judging from the information I have received so far, I am 90 per cent sure that it is not Ebola.
“However, we are on top of the situation, there is no cause for alarm,’’ he said.

Credit: ThisDay

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