Anxiety as first Ebola suspect emerges in Kwara

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The Chairman, Ebola Viral Disease Control Committee, Kwara State, Prof. Sunday Opabola, on Thursday said that a suspected case of Ebola disease has been reported in the state.

He stated that the suspect is a seven-month old baby, who came with his parents from Ibadan for a visit at Ilorin.

Addressing journalists in Ilorin on Thursday, he stated that it has not yet been confirmed that the child is infected with Ebola and that there is no confirmed case of the disease in the state, as being rumoured. He added that residents of the state should not panic.

Opabola, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Public Health, clarified that the baby, who was on Wednesday suspected to have been infected with Ebola, was found with some symptoms, which he said are not exclusive to Ebola disease.

According to him, the symptoms also manifest with patients of Lassa fever, cholera, malaria and some other diseases.

Opabola said that the baby initially manifested symptoms of malaria, and after treating him for about two days without improvement, his mother was advised to take him to a private paediatric specialist hospital in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

He added that after a clinical assessment on the patient by the medical director of the hospital, the baby was diagnosed with Ebola-like symptoms, such as fever, diarrhoea and vomiting of contents that partly contained blood.

According to him, the doctor consequently made a report of the baby’s case to the relevant government agency for necessary actions.

He stated that the government has temporarily closed down the private hospital where the baby was initially admitted.

Opabola, who is also a Professor of Medicine, said the state government immediately took the baby to the Specialist Hospital at Sobi in Ilorin, for proper attention. He added that samples from the patient had already being taken for tests at the University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, and another unnamed testing centre in Lagos.

He stated that results of the tests are expected to be ready on Friday (today).

The SSA disclosed that medical personnel attending to the baby at the specialist hospital use Personal Protective Equipment, while ambulance used to take him to the hospital is to be regularly decontaminated. The ambulance, he said, has been dedicated to conveying possible Ebola patients.



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