April 14, 2015 – Lagos State Government today said that there are no fresh case of Ebola Virus Disease, (EVD), against what is circulating in the social media.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who made the clarification in Lagos said on the 9th of April, the rumour was rife in the social media about return of EVD in Nigeria and that it has killed three people while 12 other persons were infected.
Idris flanked by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Aderemi Ibirogba and the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed said contrary to messages being circulated on social media, there is no fresh case of Ebola outbreak in the state and that government is not aware of any in the country.
He said that investigation has revealed that the EVD rumour emanated from two different websites and that government swung into action to verify the source and viability of the rumour, its author as well as embarked on social media campaign to debunk the news on its Facebook page.
The Commissioner said “www.mercyjblog.com/2015/04/breaking-iebola-return-to-nigeriaiafter.html and http://www.naijabadoo.com where the two blogs that originated the story.
He further explained that the second rumour concerning two Chinese visitors from Sierra Leone that allegedly died of EVD at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH) was posted on twitter @iChexo on 12 April.
According to Idris, investigation carried out at LUTH confirmed the story to be nothing but total falsehood.
“We believe that the author of these materials simply wanted to generate traffic to their websites which would appear successfully achieved. We wish to assure you that health workers have continued to maintain a high index of suspicion of Ebola Virus Disease and other Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers.
“The operations and surveillance activities of the Ebola Emergency Operations Centre, EEOC, have continued despite the containment of the EVD and the declaration of Nigeria as Ebola-free by WHO in 2014.”
Idris added that activities of the EEOC were still ongoing, such as screening of passengers at the point of entry, enhanced surveillance for EVD in all councils in the State, social mobilisation and communication activities at the community and council levels, training on enhanced EVD surveillance for Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers, DSNOs ward local persons and community informants, among others.
He pointed out that those at the highest risk included health workers, families and friends of an infected persons in the course of feeding, holding and caring for them
“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to disregard the EVD rumour and peacefully go about their lawful business while taking preventive measures by observing good environmental and personal hygiene, especially regular hand washing and proper waste disposal.
“Ensure thorough washing of fruits and other edible items before eating. Report any suspected case of Ebola or any known travelers from Ebola affected countries with history of persistent fever by calling Ebola help lines.