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Update: Doctor that treated Ebola victim tests positive in Lagos, emergency meeting holds next week

A doctor who attended to Liberian American Patrick Sawyer before his death from Ebola fever in a Lagos hospital has been diagnosed with the virus,…

A doctor who attended to Liberian American Patrick Sawyer before his death from Ebola fever in a Lagos hospital has been diagnosed with the virus, the federal health ministry has confirmed.

Three other workers have been quarantined after showing symptoms likely to be from Ebola, though confirmatory tests are still expected.

The doctor, yet unnamed, is the first domestic case of Ebola in Nigeria, and the second case ever after Sawyer died from the diseases while in hospital.

He was diagnosed positive for Ebola at the weekend, hours after testing for two medical personnel who had direct contact with Sawyer came negative.

“Today, we have the first of those health personnel who have now become Ebola-positive, and being treated as such,” health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu announced in Abuja.

“Others who participated in the treatment, who are also symptomatic have had their samples taken, and hopefully by the end of the day, we should have the results of their tests.”

The three are among eight people quarantined after having direct contact with Sawyer. Some 70 other people—up from 69 last week—with lesser degrees of contact are on surveillance.

False positive

Until Friday, tests on Sawyer’s doctors and others with indirect contact with him still were negative.

“But by weekend, there were others who also participated in attending to the patient. These other newer [ones] who have not had symptoms developed symptoms over the weekend,” Chukwu said at the regular Ebola briefing in Abuja.

The doctor’s identity will remain undisclosed until officials counsel his family and relatives.

Officials are also yet to confirm whether a body flown from Liberia for burial in Anambra was a victim of the Ebola.

Concern that it was Ebola related caused panic in Anambra last week, prompting authorities to shut down the hospital whose mortuary was used and ordered tests.

Emergency meeting

Health commissioners across the country are expected to gather as early as next week in an emergency meeting at the behest of the federal health ministry, Chukwu.

The meeting will update state health officials on Ebola and other haemorrhagic fevers as Lassa fever.

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