LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria has declared four Ebola patients fit and free to return to normal life after tests revealed they are now free of the deadly virus.
“The minister of health Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu has announced that four additional confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease who have been managed successfully and are now disease-free have been discharged home,” Dan Nwomeh, a spokesman for the minister, said in a statement in Abuja late Monday.
“They include two medical doctors and one female nurse,” he added.
“The three participated in the treatment of the index case while the fourth person was a female patient at the time the index case was on admission.”
The index case refers to Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian who had arrived in Nigeria last month and later died of Ebola.
This brings to five the total number of patients diagnosed with Ebola virus who have now been discharged from hospital.
Three Nigerian have died of the virus after contracting it from Sawyer.
Nigeria currently has 189 people placed on watch to ensure their situation is monitored.
Until the five survivors were released, at least 10 were under quarantine having shown symptoms and tested positive to the virus.
The four deaths were among those quarantined.
Dr. Lookman Kareem, an internal medicine physician, said the five survivors were lucky to have responded to “supportive treatments” given to them.
“Ebola is a viral infection,” he told Anadolu Agency.
“It can be self-limiting. It can reverse itself,” Kareem said.
“If the person is lucky enough not to develop the disease but is just infected and they get adequate supportive treatment, they may well recover,” suggested the doctor.
“Some people will even develop the disease itself but when they get adequate supportive treatment which does not include specific treatment for the virus, they may not die,” he added.
Nigeria’s president has declared a national emergency to curb the spread of the virus.
Ebola, a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure, has claimed hundreds of lives in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.
It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease.
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