A Nigerian woman showing symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease caused a scare after she fainted at a crowded jobcentre in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday.
She was immediately rushed in an ambulance to the Charite Hospital but about 600 visitors and officials of the job centre were quarantined by emergency service officials who sealed off part of the street in Prenzlauer Berg district where the centre is located.
Several who came into contact with her were later taken to the hospital for testing while those quarantined were allowed to go after several hours.
The Mailonline quoted a mass-circulation German daily, Bild, as reporting that the woman later claimed that she recently came into contact with people infected with Ebola.
Berlin fire department spokesman, Rolf Erbe, said that because the patient came from “an area affected by a highly contagious disease, we took these precautions.”
He said the testing in the hospital would take some time.
“The patient was isolated inside the ambulance, the staff took the appropriate protective measures. An emergency medic, the public health officer, arrived and the necessary precautions were taken,” Erbe added.
A spokesman for the city’s health authority said emergency services were called after the woman, who turned up at the employment bureau with a high fever, collapsed.
Two Guineans, one Nigerian on observation list
Also on Tuesday, the Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, told journalists that two Guineans and one Nigerian had been placed on the EVD observation list at Imeko Afon, a border community.
The three men were in the process of crossing over to Nigeria through one of the entry points when they were accosted by the Port Health Services officials.
Soyinka made this known during a news conference on the measures taken by the state government to prevent the spread of the virus to the state in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
He said the three travellers could not give satisfactory answers to questions asked on whether they came into contact with an Ebola infected person or not.
Guinea is one of the countries in West Africa where the Ebola scourge is prevalent.
Soyinka explained that the PHS officials later handed them over to the authorities of Imeko Afon Local Government Area for further investigation.
He said, “They were told that unless if they could convince the authorities that they did not come into contact with an Ebola patient, they would have to go back or if they were to be allowed into Nigeria, we will have to observe them for a while. So, they chose the later and they are still under observation.
“They agreed to wait while they are being observed to make sure that they don’t have the symptoms.”
Soyinka said they would be under observation for 21 days.
While he noted that the state was vulnerable to the virus because of its many international entry points, he added that the government was planning to establish isolation centres in all the 20 LGAs in the state.
How we managed discharged patients –Committee
Also on Tuesday, a member of the Ebola Prevention Committee at the Lagos treatment centre, Dr. Doyin Odubanjo, said that the patients discharged on Monday were managed with routine drugs in the country.
According to him, no experimental drug was administered on them until they recovered fully.
He, however, disclosed that the research committee was considering some experimental drugs for the management of the disease in the country.
Odubanjo said, “ The discharged patients were given the routine drugs and management given to Ebola patients. That is therapy and replacement of lost fluids and treatment.
“We treated the symptoms which included headache, fever and diarrhoea to ensure that their body system did not give up and this allowed their natural antibodies to develop and fight the virus.
“ The thing about the disease is that when Ebola patients recover, they are totally free of the virus. They even have a greater immunity to fight off future infection than those that have never been infected.
“People must understand that Ebola is not a death sentence. I think now that we have discharged five people that were infected, Nigerians and the rest of world will believe that the disease does not kill everybody that contracts it.”
Nigeria is making progress –WHO
The World Health Organisation has commended the Nigerian and Guinean governments for their efforts in tackling the Ebola scourge.
The other two patients currently under treatment in the isolation wards are stable and are being taken care of.”
The global healthy body, in a statement on Tuesday, attributed the progress made by the two countries to the deployment of various strategies in tracing and monitoring people that came into contact with those infected.
It said , “Though the death toll is rising in some countries, there are some encouraging signs in Nigeria and Guinea. The situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first case was detected on July 20, looks reassuring.
“At present, the 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission. Those infected by the initial case include the health workers that were involved in the treatment of the index case, a patient in the same hospital, and a protocol officer, who had very close contact with the patient.
“One of those 12 has made a full recovery which counters the widespread perception that infection with the Ebola virus is invariably a death sentence. Early detection and therapy can help people survive.
“The intensity of the search and monitoring effort raises cautious optimism that further spread of the virus in Nigeria can be stopped. The search for additional cases continues, as does the current high level of vigilance.”
WHO also noted that due to increased awareness and access to treatment in Guinea, the Ebola outbreak was less alarming compared to Liberia and Sierra Leone where more patients came forward for treatment .
It, however, warned that the outbreak was not yet under control and urged affected countries to still be on the alert.
But the organisation insisted that the authorities of the affected countries should carry out exit screenings of travellers at their international airports, seaports and major land borders.
“We are not recommending travel restrictions and active screening of passengers on arrival in countries that do not have borders with the affected countries,” it added.
It said the Ebola virus had killed 84 people in just three days, bringing the global death toll to 1,229.It put confirmed, probable and suspect infections at 2,240.
The body said, “As recent experience shows, progress is fragile, with a real risk that the outbreak could experience another flare-up.
“A case in a previously unaffected area was reported last week, indicating continuing spread to new areas.”
Lagos seals three houses
The Lagos State Governmen on Tuesday said it had sealed three houses on the Lagos Island to prevent Ebola outbreak and maintain a cleaner and sustainable environment.
A statement by the spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Folarin Adeyemi, explained that the houses – numbers 42, 48 and 50 - on Vincent Street, were served abatement notices for “discharging untreated human faeces directly into open drainage channel, leading to offensive odour capable of instigating outbreak of epidemic.”
The statement added, “It was also observed during a monitoring exercise of the last sanitation that all the adjourning drains were completely filthy and silted with solid waste.
“Upon the inability of the occupants to remediate the observed nuisances, the enforcement department of the ministry, led by Dr. A. T. Afolabi, sealed the premises upon the receipt of an order which granted the closure.”
The government urged Lagosians to shun acts that could lead to the spread communicable diseases in the state.