A 19-year-old student of Law at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was allegedly diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Kaduna raising fear the deadly virus had spread to the state.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Mallam Bilyaminu Umar, who spoke to Vanguard on phone yesterday, a law student from ABU has been admitted at ABUTH, Shika, Zaria with signs similar to that of the Ebola lethal fever.
“I can tell you that a law student who has been ill for some time has shown signs of the Ebola fever. But we are still studying the development. He has already been quarantined, and all safety measures are in place. So there is no need for panic. I cannot tell you more than this,” he said.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Thot Dogo also confirmed to Vanguard, saying; “The hospital (ABUTH) authorities alerted the Ministry when it suspected that a Law undergraduate of ABU, Zaria started showing some signs of Ebola symptoms like high fever and rashes on his body after over a week he was admitted at the hospital.
“The blood sample of the patient has been taken to a laboratory in Lagos for tests, which will come out by Tuesday next week. The outcome of the laboratory result will determine further actions.
“The state government has provided the hospital management with protective equipment for its team of medical personnel attending to the patient,” he said.
Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, who is Chairman, Kaduna State Ebola Prevention and Control Committee, however told Vanguard on phone that the situation should not cause any anxiety in the state.
“Kaduna State Governor, Dr. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, in his wisdom, has designated three Ebola quarantine and prevention centres in the three senatorial zones of the state just for this kind of emergency. We have all the equipment and the personnel and two of the sites are ready.
“There is small misunderstanding between my committee and some members of the community. But we are talking and bridging the communication gap. So, in a very short time, we shall be ready to contain any outbreak in any of the zones, with the assistance of the Federal Government and the World Health Organisation.
“But while people should not unduly panic, like bathing with salt, drinking salt water and chewing bitter kola, we urge all residents of the state to maintain basic hygiene habits, like washing of hands before and after meals. People should avoid exotic wild meat for now, and cook every food well. Even though we are yet to confirm this case, we encourage people to report any sign on a sick person that may exhibit Ebola to the nearest medical health facility scattered all over the state,” he said.
When contacted on phone by Vanguard, Special Assistant to the Minister of Health on Media and Communications, Mr. Dan Nwome dismissed reports of any confirmed case of Ebola in Kaduna.
“Some people are hell bent on causing Ebola panic in Nigeria. The Minister of Health’s office alone gets more than 10 false alarms/reports of Ebola daily.
“The Kaduna report is totally untrue. In fact, ABUTH has no laboratory that can diagnose Ebola as reported. No confirmed case of Ebola in Kaduna or Abuja. Please disregard the false, so-called breaking news,” he stated.