LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – A man who previously showed symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus had died in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja while the results of his tests were still being awaited, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said on Monday.
“The Family Medicine unit of Asokoro District Hospital suspected Ebola disease in a patient on admission at the Accident and Emergency Unit on August 28, and immediately isolated him,” Badaru Yakassai, spokesman for the health and human services secretariat of the FCTA, said in a statement.
He added that strict infection control measures were immediately instituted and that a blood sample was taken from the suspected patient and sent to the designated FCTA Ebola testing laboratory, which happens to be within the Hospital premises.
“The epidemiology unit of the Public Health Department was notified and their response was immediate,” Yakassai said. ”The results of the Ebola testing were being expected from the Laboratory on Monday.”
He said the case served as a drill one to test the preparedness of the hospital to manage and contain Ebola disease. Yakassai noted that the clinical assessment of the suspected patient did not reveal any history of contact or travel.
If confirmed, this will be the 17th Ebola case to be detected in Nigeria, according to federal statistics.
Six Ebola deaths had been recorded in Nigeria, including the index case of Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian who brought the virus to the country and died on July 24.
On Monday, Nigeria said it had indicated interest in buying an experimental Ebola drug prepared in Japan. The country had earlier indicated interest in getting the “ZMapp” trial drug but these efforts did not bear fruit.
In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed 1,552 lives in West Africa, mostly 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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