The Federal Government has revealed that it has reached out to the United States Centre for Disease Control to request for the unapproved Ebola drug, Zmapp, for the treatment of affected persons in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, while speaking with State House correspondents at yesterday’s Federal Executive Council meeting. He said the Nigerian government has written to the Director of the United States Centre for Disease Control to request for the release of some of the unapproved Zmapp drug which has proven to be useful in the treatment of the Ebola disease. He said the Federal government awaits a response from the United state government and hopefully if the drugs are released, they could be used to treat the confirmed cases of the Ebola viral disease in Nigeria.
The Minister advised Nigerians to avoid handshake as much as possible, stating that the virus is both contagious and infectious. He also said the virus could also be contacted through the sharing of bedspreads, pillow cases and towels among other personal effects with infected person. He said the disease is not airborne but at close range of a 1meter from an infected person, the disease droplets can be transmitted.
The Minister also revealed that Isolation tent for each confirmed case cost the government as much as N20million. As regards the corpse of a Nigerian brought in from Liberia last week into Anambra state which caused Ebola scare in the state, the Minister said thorough examination on the corpse showed the man did not die of the deadly disease.
As part of strategies to rise to the national emergency, Chukwu said a website, www.ebolaalert.org, has been designed to offer information on the virus.