The message was circulated via sms and whatsapp. It read …
“Avoid First Consultants Medical Centre Ltd, Obalende, Lagos, The victim in the first case of Ebola identified in Nigeria has died in the hospital. Do not go near Obalende”.
As I read the message, My mind swung immediately, into unraveling the puzzle. How could the virus have been identified in the patient and by who?
Very simple … the Medical doctors knew what Ebola was, and they could identify the virus. They were well trained professionals!
Ebola is a human disease caused by ebola viruses. Symptoms usually start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus with a fever, throat and muscle pains, and headaches. There is then nausea, vomiting and diarrhea along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys.
The disease can be contacted when a person comes into contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or animal such as a monkey or fruit bat. There is no specific treatment for the virus other than such help as giving the person either oral rehydration therapy or intravenous fluids.
Measures that will help in stopping the outbreak include washing of hands often with soap and water, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and ensuring that objects used by the sick are decontaminated and properly disposed.
According to the professionals at the First Consultants Ltd:
“He was fully conscious and gave his clinical history and told us he was a senior diplomat from Liberia. We refused to let him out of the hospital in spite of intense pressure as we were told he was a senior ECOWAS official who had an important role to play at the ECOWAS convention in Calabar. The initial test result from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital laboratory indicated a signal of possible Ebola Virus Disease, but required confirmation.
We then took the further step of reaching out to senior officials in the office of the Secretary of Health of the United States of America, who promptly assisted us with contacts at the Centre for Disease Control and World Health Organisation regional laboratory centre in Senegal. Jointly working with the state, Federal agencies and international agencies, we were able to obtain confirmation of Ebola Virus Disease (Zaire strain). The gentleman subsequently died on Friday at 6.50am (25th July, 2014).”