Rivers confirms case of Ebola death in Port Harcourt

PORT HARCOURT: RIVERS state government has confirmed the death of a medical doctor from Ebola virus.

Commissioner of Health, Dr Sampson Parker who broke the news Thursday in Port Harcourt said the late Dr Iyke Sam Enemuo died Friday last week from suspected Ebola virus, adding that a test on his corpse released yesterday confirmed that the deceased died from the virus.

He said the late Enemuo met a staff of Economic Community of West African states, Ecowas at a hotel in Port Harcourt, noting that the ECOWAS staff was on the team of those that received the index case, late Patrick. According to the Commissioner of Health, one week after the ECOWAS staff left Port Harcourt the late Dr Enemuo took ill and was admitted in a hospital.

The Commissioner, Dr Parker said the wife of late Dr Enemuo who is also a doctor had fallen sick and had been quarantined, adding that about 100 persons who had primary or secondary contact with the late Dr Enemuo had been placed on watchlist.

While appealing to residents of the state not to panic the Commissioner, Dr Parkar said adequate measures were in place to check the spread of the disease.

His words,: “My friends, brothers and sisters. The Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has directed me to make this solemn announcement to you.

And it is with a heavy heart that I announce to you that the ebola virus has claimed its first victim in Rivers State. Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo died last week Friday, August 22, 2014 as a result of what was suspected to be ebola virus disease.

The Rivers State Ministry of Health on becoming aware of the conditions of his death, immediately commenced investigations and contact tracing.

As at today, about one hundred contacts from a hotel, patients of Dr. Enemuo and patients of the hospital where the late Enemuo was treated until his demise have been identified and restricted in Rivers State.

The locations are being decontaminated. I had promised to be open and candid with the public on our efforts to tackle the ebola virus.

From our investigations some facts have emerged. A staff of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the team that received late Dr. Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian American diplomat who died of ebola haemorrhagic disease in Lagos, Nigeria made a trip to Port Harcourt where he checked into a hotel and met with Dr. Iyke Sam Enemuo.

About a week after his departure, Dr. Iyke Enemuo took ill and was rushed to a hospital where he presented with symptoms of fever, diarrhea and vomiting.

In the course of treatment, the managing physician became suspicious and took samples for investigation. A few days after, Dr. Iyke Enemuo died on August 22, 2014. His body was deposited at a mortuary in Port Harcourt.

Dr. Iyke Enemuo’s widow, who is also a medical doctor and who cared for him during his illness has taken ill. She is being quarantined.

A few hours ago, results of the test carried out on samples taken from Dr. Enemuo came back and was positive of Ebola Viral disease.

The diplomat who was seen by late Dr. Iyke Enemuo is alive and well. I urge every Rivers State citizen and resident to remain calm and go about their normal businesses. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and avoid unnecessary body contacts till further notice.

The Government of Rivers State is doing everything possible to contain the effects and spread of the ebola virus. We have all the material and human resources we need to fight and defeat the deadly virus.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and other international agencies are already here working with the state ministry of health. Together, I believe we can contain the ebola virus.

I shall continue to update you as more information become available. Thank you, stay safe and God bless.”

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