Tuesday 21 October 2014

Ebola and Nigeria: Quite, Quite Extraordinary

In the Drew household, at the end of a broadcast news item we reserve to ourselves the right to chorus: do we believe this?  We are arts graduates at heart: but when it comes to boring old matters-of-fact, the Drew household tries to be a bastion of rigorous empiricism and the scientific method.  So our chorus is raised in a quizzical, measured tone.  We are always open to being convinced.

But repetition of assertions in the media doesn't count.

Now then.
The World Health Organisation declared on Monday that Nigeria is free of Ebola, a rare victory in the months-long battle against the disease. Nigeria’s containment of Ebola is a “spectacular success story”, WHO country director Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in Nigeria’s capital
Wow.  And some details:
Persistence, rigorous enforcement of quarantine and disinfection of premises contribute to a success story for Nigeria ... Even though that involved hunting through crowded buildings in streets without door numbers, Nigerian teams managed to trace everybody who had been in contact with Sawyer and everybody who had contact with those who later developed the disease ... the list of contacts reached 898 and they were not all in Lagos. A nurse who became infected travelled more than 310 miles to Enugu, finding at least 21 contacts. But the biggest crisis was caused by one of Sawyer’s contacts, who had been infected, fleeing to the oil capital, Port Harcourt, where he infected a doctor. That doctor, who died, was linked to 526 contacts, including many members of his church who carried out a healing ceremony for him involving the laying on of hands. In total, the contact tracers made 18,500 face-to-face visits to check on people for raised temperature.
Nigeria.  Free of Ebola.  Rigorous enforcement.  Managed to trace everybody.  Everybody.

This is deeply impressive, and a lesson to Spain, Texas, everyone.  I hope and pray it's true.



Scan said...

There's also a handly little "keep calm and carry on" graph via IFuckingLoveScience:


Bill Quango MP said...

Rigorous. Swift. Efficient. Effective. Enforcement.

Are there two Nigerias?

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Nigeria??? Of course it isn't true.

I'll wager a pound to a peck of poo there will be new cases within 21 days - brought in from the outside, naturally...

Demetrius said...

There are cases in the UK. when those affected, after a long wait, saw the quack he diagnosed in the five minutes available IBS and handed out prescriptions for a few pills. Their later decease was attributed to drug related causes.

dearieme said...

A friend of ours, whose experience was in South Africa and Zambia, was very pro-African. Then she went to live in Nigeria for a while. She reconciled her opinions with her experience there by declaring that Nigerians were not true Africans.

Elby the Beserk said...

Couple of good articles on this and Ebola in general, from the excellent Jo Nova, Ozzie climate sceptic and good egg.



(An Eyam type self-mandated quarantine at The Firestone Rubber Plantation in Liberia).

and more...

Anonymous said...

I don't understand. How can saying you are free of Ebola cause strangers in Europe to send you any money ?

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