Nigeria monitoring 400 contacts of doctor who died of Ebola

Thu Sep 4, 2014 8:03am EDT
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* Sense of "hopelessness" in Nigeria, health official says

* Nigeria quarantining high-risk contacts of late doctor

* Doctor hid his exposure and infection, putting others at risk

* WHO opens two-day talks on experimental drugs, vaccines

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Nigerian authorities are monitoring nearly 400 people for signs of Ebola after they came in contact with a Port Harcourt doctor who died of the disease but hid the fact that he had been exposed, a senior Nigerian health official said on Thursday.

Dr. Abdulsalami Nasidi, project director at Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said there was a sense of "hopelessness" due to the lack of proven drugs or vaccines to treat Ebola that has infected 18 people in Africa's most populous nation.

In an interview with Reuters in Geneva, he said that more isolation wards were being opened in the oil industry hub but voiced confidence that there would not be "many cases" there.

After having contact with an Ebola patient and before his own death on Aug. 22, the Port Harcourt doctor, named by local authorities as Iyke Enemuo, carried on treating patients and met scores of friends, relatives and medics, leaving about 60 of them at high risk of infection, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.   Continued...