Nigeria has recorded two new Ebola cases, the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, announced Friday.
He said the new cases are the first secondary contacts to test positive to the deadly virus that has killed five people in Nigeria.
He added that the number of deaths so far recorded remained five while five primary contacts had been successfully managed and discharged.
Chukwu also said that a total of 213 people are currently under surveillance in Lagos and Enugu.
He also said that laboratories for the testing of EVD had been located in six states namely; Lagos, Edo, Ogun, Enugu, Oyo and the Federal Capital Territory.
He said, “In an effort to increase capacity for diagnosis, we have now moved a mobile laboratory with the capability of diagnosing Ebola Virus Disease in Enugu State. We have six secondary contacts who are under surveillance there and if any of them becomes symptomatic, we don’t have to send their specimen to Lagos, they would be diagnosed in Enugu.”
He said being infected with the EVD does not mean a death sentence, but urged Nigerians to remain disciplined and vigilant, while government continues its surveillance on all contacts, and quarantine of any one that had developed the symptoms.
The minister said, “Even if you get infected with the disease and you are still in the incubation period, you cannot transfer it to anybody. When you are not sick, you cannot transfer it to anybody. That is why we are putting people under surveillance.
“The battle is not over but I think the country has done well by containing the spread no doubt. The fact that all the cases so far are limited to the primary contacts showed the effectiveness of the containment.”
On how treatment was being administered on infected persons, the minister said the process starts with the isolation of patients, fluid replacement to avoid dehydration either orally or through drip, blood transfusion and nutrition.
He clarified that those who had been treated and discharged did not use any of the experimental drugs because Nigerian government applied for the trial drug but could not get it from the United States.
Also on Friday, the Minister held a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria and the Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria. The two bodies control private medical practitioners.
While the AGPMPN was led Dr. Frank Odafe, the GMDN was led by Dr. Tony Phillips.