Although more than 2,600 victims have died in the largest Ebola outbreak in history, one woman’s story of survival could be a sign of hope for those that are still battling the illness.
Dr. Ada Igonoh contracted Ebola in Nigeria after treating Patrick Sawyer, an American who died of the disease in July, the head of the Ebola Emergency Operation Center confirmed to HuffPost Live. In an interview on Monday, Igonoh recalled how she caught the virus and her road to recovery in the confines of an isolation center in Nigeria.
“At the time when I contracted the virus, it must have been when I touched [Sawyer’s] intravenous fluid bag, one of the nights I was attending to him,” she told host Alyona Minkovski. “About a week after the contact with him ... it was confirmed that I had Ebola.”
After Igonoh's diagnosis, she was rushed to the Emergency Operation Center’s isolation area for treatment.
“I had some infections, so I had to be treated with antibiotics to treat the infection. After about a week of staying in the isolation ward, I started to feel much better,” she said. “The symptoms, mainly fever, diarrhea and vomiting with associated joint aches and pains, actually started to resolve at that time.”
After being treated with Paracetamol and oral rehydration salts, Igonoh’s symptoms slowly started to subside. Fourteen days later, she was declared “virus free” and released from the ward.
While the average fatality rate for Ebola is around 50 percent, according to the World Health Organization, Igonoh is optimistic about the possibilities for treatment and survival.
“Even [though] there is no known cure for Ebola, or no known vaccine for Ebola, usually people are treated symptomatically,” Igonoh said. “And once the symptoms can be treated and dehydration aggressively treated, or prevented, the possibility of living is quite high.”
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