Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos State Government has debunked rumours that there are fresh cases of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, outbreak in the state.

It said contrary to messages being circulated on social media, there is no fresh case of Ebola outbreak in Lagos.

At a joint news conerence on Tuesday morning at the Ministry of Health at Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said that on 9 April, there was rumour in the social media on the return of EVD to Nigeria killing three and infecting 12 other persons.

He said findings revealed that the EVD rumour was generared from two different websites, explaining that the government swung into action to verify the source, quality and viability of the rumour, its author as well as embarked on social media campaign to debunk the news on its facebook site.

Dr Jide Idris

Dr Jide Idris

The websites are:www.mercyjblog.com/2015/04/breaking-iebola-return-to-nigeriaiafter.html and http://www.naijabadoo.com.

Idris added that the second rumour concerning two Chinese visitors from Sierra Leone was posted on twitter @iChexo on 12 April, claiming that the two Chinese died of EVD at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH same day, saying that investigation carried out at LUTH confirmed that to be completely untrue.

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“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,” he said.

He stated 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.

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Idris restated 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 travellers from Ebola affected countries with history of persistent fever by calling the help line: 080 EBOLA HELP (080032d24357),” he stated.