Abuja: At least three cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) have been recorded in Nigeria's oil hub of Port Harcourt, where a fatality was confirmed last week, the country's Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said here Monday.
Chukwu told reporters in the Nigerian capital that the figure was reached following the results of test carried out on a woman and two hospital workers in the capital of oil-rich Rivers state. The three new cases had direct contact with a doctor who died of the highly-contagious virus less than two weeks ago in the West African country, Xinhua reported.
The African nation announced last week it was almost free from Ebola, but Chukwu said this would become reality after the new cases had been carefully and successfully treated.
"No contact in Port Harcourt has completed the 21 days observation period. It is expected that a few more contacts will develop EVD, especially in Rivers state before Nigeria will see the last case of EVD," he said at a press conference.
As of the last count Aug 31, no record of Ebola infection had spread to southeast Enugu state, where there was fear over the weekend that some people had contracted the disease, he added.
"The number of contacts under surveillance in Lagos stands at 72, while in Port Harcourt, the total number of contacts under surveillance stands at 199.
"As of Aug 31, 278 contacts in Lagos State had completed the 21 days surveillance and have been discharged from surveillance. In Enugu, all the six identified contacts have completed the 21 days observation period and have been discharged from surveillance, " he said.
More than 1,500 people have so far died of Ebola since the latest outbreak in West African countries.