Nigeria Not Ebola-Free Yet, Health Minister Says

Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu

The Nigerian Health Minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu has said that the country is still at risk of the deadly Ebola virus.

The minister had announced on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 that the disease had been successfully contained in the country after reducing the list of confirmed cases to just one.

However, he said yesterday, August 27, 2014, that it is not time to celebrate yet as there is still a high risk of the disease in the country.

He said:

 “Let me just say that I don’t want us in Nigeria to move from panic to euphoria. The media has been working so well with us and we commend them for that but some of the headlines today (Wednesday) suggest that you may push the public to euphoria which again will be a problem.

“Yes, Nigeria is doing well on containment. Containment is like you have got an animal into a cage but it is not yet dead. But at least if you know where to now concentrate than when that animal was roaming. That is what we have achieved.

“We now know where the disease is in Nigeria. All of them so far in Nigeria have been traced to Mr. Patrick Sawyer. But we know there is nothing stopping someone coming with a fresh case from anywhere in the world.

“That’s why we say Nigeria has been successful with containment. But have we eliminated the disease? No. Because as we speak, there is a case we are still managing and that case must also have had her own third degree contacts apart from the number of people that are still under surveillance.

“So, until we give a clean bill of health to every contact, we cannot really say that we have eliminated the disease”.

Since Sawyer brought the disease into the country, 4 Nigerians have died and 7 others have been treated and discharged.
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