Govt Releases Final Lab Result On Calabar Ebola Scare
The result finally put an end to the speculation, as it established that the 21-year-old male student of University of Calabar, who was diagnosed with a suspected case of hemorrhagic fever on October 7, did not have the Ebola Virus Disease.
The Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Health, Linus Awute, who gave the status report in Abuja yesterday, noted that though the exact cause of death had not been established, chemical poisoning could not be ruled out.
He reaffirmed that results from the preliminary tests carried out on the blood samples from the patient confirmed that the deceased was negative for both the Ebola Virus and Lassa Fever Virus.
He said that additional tests using what he described as “next generation sequencing methods” were then carried out at one of the Ministry’s collaborating reference laboratories: the Redeemers University African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Ede, Osun State, to confirm which virus must have caused the infection and death.
He noted: “The results of these tests were to be made available to the nation on Monday, October 12, 2015. However, initial findings by this laboratory necessitated additional tests leading to a delay in the release of the result.
The result is now out and I wish to inform the nation that the blood sample from the patient tested negative for all pathogenic viruses known to man. Further tests were conducted to establish any bacterial or fungal infection involvement and this also proved negative. The possibility of poisoning or intoxication with a chemical cannot be ruled out at this stage. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will continue with this investigation in collaboration with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
On the basis of the findings, he stressed that the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit where the patient was admitted had been decontaminated and would remain closed throughout this weekend.
He went on: “The quarantined staff have been released home for twice daily temperature monitoring and follow-ups where necessary.
An hospital sensitization seminar facilitated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control was conducted and normal clinical services have resumed at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), and the safety of these operations are guaranteed after the detailed decontamination carried out.”
Awute again emphasized that there is no Ebola in Nigeria, noting that the country remains Ebola free as certified by the World Health Organization.
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