Via the Nigerian Tribune: Ebola in Rivers: 160 now under surveillance, late doctor’s wife moved to Lagos. The full report:
A total of 160 people have now been quarantined in Rivers State to contain the spread of the Ebola virus, according to Dr Sampson Parker, the state’s Commissioner for health.
Parker also told newsmen in the state capital, Port Harcourt, on Friday that Rivers State was in a war-time situation as it fought Ebola headlong.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the commissioner said, had pledged to provide funds to enable the state procure all relevant materials, as well as the services of medical experts from Nigeria and abroad, to make sure the Ebola virus is contained.
Parker also revealed that the late Dr Iyke Enemuo, who died of Ebola disease, last week Friday, in Port Harcourt was aware that Olu Ibikunle Koye, a Nigerian diplomat, working with the Economic Community of West Arican States (ECOWAS), was a carrier of the Ebola virus.
Speaking further, Parker said, “He (Koye) had received the late Dr Patrick Sawyer (the Liberian-American who transmitted the virus) in Lagos. Upon developing the symptom, he confided in a female colleague, called Lillian, who contacted the late Dr Enemuo.
“It was after contact was established with Dr. Enemuo that Olu Ibikunle Koye flew to Port Harcourt to see Dr Enemuo,” he said.
According to the health commissioner, to conceal his movement, Koye, who had been quarantined along with other people for having primary contact with Sawyer, sneaked out of the isolation unit and took a flight to Port Harcourt and switched off his phone so that he cannot be reached or traced.
Parker said, on arrival in Port Harcourt, Koye obfuscated being traced, checked into a Mandate Gardens, a local hotel in the Rumunokoro area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, within the vicinity where Enemuo’s private health facility, Sam Steel Clinic, was located.
“From what we have gathered so far, Dr Enemuo, knowing full well that Koye was positive of the Ebola virus, took some measures of precaution to protect himself while treating Koye.
“Knowing the enormity of what he was doing, Dr Enemuo, upon Koye’s departure for Lagos, poured bleach all over the room that Koye slept in order to sanitise the place.
“Upon developing the Ebola symptom, Dr Enemuo approached one of our colleagues for treatment at Green Heart Hospital, along Evboh Road, in the GRA. Dr Enemuo did not tell the doctor that was treating him the truth. He merely told him that he had fever. He lied. He did not tell the doctor that was treating him his full story.
“But the doctor, a nice and conscientious professional, suspected that Dr Enemuo was either hiding something or was suffering from a strange ailment because he proved negative to malaria, fever and typhoid fever.
“To be sure of what he was doing, he spoke to other very experienced doctors about the strange case he was handling in his hospital. He even invited some of his colleagues to come over to his hospital to study Dr Enemuo’s medical history.
“Of course, the news of the Ebola virus was everywhere. So, they were afraid to go. None of them showed up at the hospital where Dr Enemuo was being treated. His condition continued to deteriorate and he eventually died and his body was taken to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH),” he said.
The Commissioner for Health further said when news got to Koye that the doctor that treated him in Port Harcourt had died, he collapsed and it was then that he opened up and confessed that Enemuo had treated him when he travelled to Port Harcourt.
Mr. Koye has more to answer for than infecting Dr. Enemuo: He presumably came in contact with dozens of people in the process of leavng Lagos, flying to Port Harcourt, and then returning. Patrick Sawyer and some of his contacts seem to have lost their wits as well as their lives.