It is true, Ebola has jumped to Port Harcourt (UPDATES)

by Godwin Akanfe

Despite the denial by Rivers state health commissioner, Sampson Parker yesterday, YNaija can confirm that a man has died from the Ebola Virus Disease in Port Harcourt. At a press conference yesterday, Dr. Parker said that Ebola did not kill the victim, but fever and diarrhoea did. Dr. Parker also said that Rivers people should not panic.

An official of the Rivers state Government has now confirmed that the patient did indeed die of the Ebola Virus Disease. The official, who asked not to be named because she was not authorized to speak with journalists, told us on the phone that, “Forget yesterday’s press conference, Ebola is in Port Harcourt, and someone has died. We are now scrambling to track everybody who was in contact with him.”

Dr. Sampson Parker (left) had denied that the victim died of the Ebola Virus Disease.
Dr. Sampson Parker (left) had denied that the victim died of the Ebola Virus Disease.

The patient, whose name is yet to be made public, was said to have returned from Lagos and tested positive to the virus while on admission at a Private hospital in D-line area of the state capital.

The patient – a diplomat is believed to be among those who met Mr. Sawyer on his arrival in Lagos. He then flew to Port Harcourt where he took ill.

He was treated at an unnamed hotel in the Rivers state capital, our source said.

The doctor’s hospital, Good Heart Hospital, as well as the hotel where he treated the diplomat, have been shut down.

This development is a set back to Nigeria’s effort to contain the deadly virus. Recall that on Tuesday, the Minister of Health had announced that Nigeria had succeeded in halting the spread of the virus in the country.

Update

Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, has confirmed that there are two new cases of the deadly Ebola disease in Port Harcourt, River State.

He named a physician, Dr. Ikechukwu Sam Enemuo, who was killed by the disease as one of the victims. Dr. Enemuo is believed to have treated a diplomat that had direct contact with the Liberian-American man, Patrick Sawyer that brought the disease to Nigeria.

The diplomat, according to the Minister is not symptomatic but has been placed under surveillance.

Reports of Ebola have thrown Port Harcourt residents into panic.

A medical practitioner with knowledge of this case said that Dr. Enemuo was transported to The Good Heart hospital along Evo Road in GRA 2, after he took ill with Ebola-like symptoms.

Before he fell ill, the source said, “He operated on a woman on Monday presumably after secretly treating the diplomat in a hotel. Then he fell ill next day Tuesday and died last Friday.

“No one knew about this hotel angle which was a very big risk he took, and an unethical thing to do. He was ill for 3 days and then started vomiting blood with bloody diarrhoea. He was rushed to Prime Hospital where he was rejected and then taken to Good Heart Hospital whose MD is a Cardiologist, and a Consultant Physician with UPTH. He died there,” the source said.

The late Dr. Enemuo, operated a clinic called Sam Steel Clinic along East West Road in Rumuokoro. His wife, according to the source is also a medical doctor and just had a baby 3 months ago. She has shown symptoms and has been quarantined since yesterday, the Minister said.

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