A South African national, suspected of showing potential symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, as she arrived Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos yesterday, has been captured and quarantined at the isolation ward in Lagos.
The female passenger, Folswe Elizabeth Maria, on board Royal Air Maroc, from Morocco was on transit and was said to have taken ill at the transit area of the airport after using the toilet. The case was immediately reported to officials of the Port Health Services who used the Infra-red Thermometre to test her and discovered that she had high temperature.
Maria was later taken to an isolation centre and kept under observation by Port Health officials.
She filled out a health questionnaire on her arrival at Lagos airport in which she acknowledged suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, both possible symptoms of the Ebola hemorrhagic virus.
Around 2,300 people have died so far this year in the worst Ebola outbreak on record which has mostly affected Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It has also reached Nigeria and Senegal because of sick travellers “importing” the disease. Democratic Republic of Congo has a separate outbreak.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has instituted Ebola screening, including infra-red temperature scans and symptoms checks at its airports after a Liberian-American infected with the disease brought it to Lagos in July after flying in from Liberia. He is one of seven deaths recorded so far out of 19 confirmed cases in Nigeria.
“Nigeria cannot afford another ‘importation’ of the Ebola disease ,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, a professor of infectious diseases at Florida International University College of Medicine.
Marty is working with Nigerian health authorities, under the auspices of the World Health Organisation, to maintain port of entry Ebola checks across the country.