|Patrick Sawyer,the Nigerian Nurse who treated him has died from the disease.
Nigeria has recorded its first known fatality from Ebola virus infection with the death of a nurse in Lagos, the commercial capital, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said. Though formerly reported to be a medical doctor,
the late nurse had attended to Liberian government worker Patrick Sawyer, who became sick from the virus after arriving on a flight to Lagos and later died on July 25. Five other cases are being treated in Lagos, Chukwu said in a statement handed to reporters today in Abuja. On Tuesday, Nigeria announced it was contemplating asking for a dose of the American experimental Ebola drug to treat the ‘female Nigerian doctor’ confirmed of being infected.
Jide Idris, Lagos state commissioner for health, giving the hint at a press conference in Ikeja, had said eight others are currently in quarantine, suspected of being infected. All being people who came into close contact with Sawyer,who was also an American citizen.
The drug, ZMapp, produced from tobacco plants, was given to two Americans- Kent Brantly, a medical doctor and Nancy Writebol, an aid worker, both infected with the virus in Liberia and now showing significant improvement.
Hope is rising globally over this possible cure for the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc, a biotech firm in the US, which developed the drug, has been working with the US National Institute of Health and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an arm of the military, responsible for weapons of mass destruction, to develop an Ebola treatment for several years.
While the drug had shown promise in primates, with eight monkeys receiving the treatment, there are concerns by medical experts that the human immune system can react differently from primates’, which is why drugs are required to undergo human clinical trials before being approved by government agencies for widespread use.