The Lagos State Government on 14 April 2015 discredited claims of fresh cases
of Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria.
At an emergency press conference, the Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris assured Lagosian that enhanced surveillance of the virus have been on-going to ensure the country remains free of Ebola. (Although when I revisited the borders after Nigeria was declared Ebola free, that was not what our camera captured)
Dr. Idris was reacting to stories published on http://www.mercyjblog.com/201504/breaking-ebola-returns-to-Nigeria-after.html and http:www.naijabadoo.com declaring that 3 people were already killed by the disease and 12 others infected. According to the said ‘rumour’ the deceased were returnees from Liberia. While the commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba who was also present believes the authors of these materials simply wanted to generate traffic to their websites; Dr Idris says:
“The propagators of the EVD rumour failed to give information on the date of arrival of the victims in Nigeria, the port(s) of entry as well as the name of the health/aboratory in Lagos where the confirmatory diagnosis of EVD was made’’
There was another account involving 2 Chinese visitors from Sierra Leone posted on twitter @iChexo on 12 April, 2015 saying the 2 Chinese died of Ebola at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital LUTH Idi- Araba . However, the Acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital professor Chris Bode told journalists has refuted the tale
saying: “This is to swiftly deny any such rumour and inform members of the public that no such event happened…”
“Our professionals at the emergency services, various lines of responders, laboratories and nurses all reported no such cases in our hospital…” the professor of medicine added.
In the mean time, the federal government has directed the public to ignore reports of recurrence of the Ebola Virus in the country and says: ‘’…The rumour is false and there is no known case of Ebola in Nigeria.’ We also gathered that the World Health Organisation WHO is investigating the matter.
The general public is advised to continue to adhere strictly to preventive measures against the virus and report suspected cases of Ebola or any known travellers from Ebola affected countries with history of persistent fever by calling the Help line:0800EBOLA HELP (0800-32652-4357
Whether Ebola has re-entered Nigeria or not, it only makes sense for Nigeria and Nigerians to remain alert because as long as our neighbouring countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are yet to come to grips with Ebola, the country cannot afford to be complacent