Ebola Fears: National Assembly Members Avoid Shaking Hands

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Panic over the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria has travelled as far as the National Assembly as the lawmakers refused handshakes today and hand sanitizers was seen used by many of them.

This happened as a public hearing on the disease held in a session chaired by Chairman, House Committee on Health Hon. Ndidi Elumelu. Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the Health Minister was in attendance.

Onyebuchi had today disclosed that a nurse who was among the medical personnel that attended to the late Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, who died of Ebola virus in Lagos on July 25, has died of the same disease.

“Nigeria has now recorded 7 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVB)” the minister said.

Those who have died include the “index patient,” a Liberian who brought the virus to Lagos on July 20, and a nurse who treated him, the minister added.

“All the Nigerians diagnosed with EBV were primary contacts” of Patrick Sawyer, who worked for Liberia’s finance ministry and contracted the virus from his sister, Chukwu said.

The five Ebola patients are being treated in an isolation ward in Lagos, the minister told journalists.

Since breaking out earlier this year, the tropical virus has claimed almost 900 lives and infected more than 1,600 people across West Africa.

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