Race Against The Virus
by Henry Okelue
The nurse rushed into the Doctor’s office, panting and barely managing to speak audibly.
“Doctor! Doctor, the patient is getting worse” called out the nurse on duty.
The Doctor grabbed his stethoscope and raced after her.
The patient was brought in two days ago complaining of a fever. He was also stooling massively. A very serious case of diarrhea. He had become very dehydrated and had been placed on strict oral rehydration therapy. His case was going from bad to worse very fast.
Dr. Adigun was almost certain of what was wrong with the patient. The Agency for Disease Control, ADC for short had already been called in.
By the time the Doctor got to the ward, it was a sorry sight. The patient was bleeding profusely from his ears and mouth. He had lost consciousness but was still breathing.
“Everybody double your gloves! In fact triple it. Keep those face masks tight too” The Doctor instructed.
The nurses and young doctors acted accordingly. This was a very dangerous situation and everybody had to take precautions.
“Get me the Director of the ADC stat”
“Here Doctor, Director Effiong on the line for you”
“Hello Paul, this is Babatunde. The patient I spoke to you about yesterday has taken a turn for the worse” He said looking across to the patient who was by now getting cleaned up by two nurses in biohazard gear. The hospital had ordered those immediately it became obvious it might have a case of Ebola virus on its hands.
“Babatunde, my team has already set out for your location” The ADC director told him
“They have with them a vaccine that was sent down to us last night from Geneva, it is still in test phase. Your patient might be a good start” He continued
“A vaccine has been developed to test stage?” Dr. Adigun asked quizzically, considering that no mention about such had been made since the outbreak was announced in Guinea.
“Yes, they have been working on it for about a year now. The guys at Bayer wanted it to be kept under wraps until they were sure” Dr. Effiong said
Dr. Adigun looked at the patient again. He was beginning to turn blue and his breathing was now getting shallower. Death was imminent. This patient could do with a miracle now.
“Fix 100 cc saline, we need to give this man a chance” He said to a nurse, holding the phone away from his mouth.
“How soon do you think before your guys get here” Dr. Adigun asked returning to the ADC Director on the phone
“I would reckon thirty minutes. They are flying in by helicopter”
Dr. Adigun looked at his wristwatch and then at the patient. The race against time had begun.
The atmosphere in the sealed off ward was sombre. Even the gadgets fitted within it were beeping as if they did not want to disturb whatever it was that this man’s life was hanging on to. The medical staff had done all they could even in the face of the imminent danger they faced too. This virus has been known to kill even medical personnel.
The patient was still bleeding, but he seemed ready to fight for life.
Then the sound of a chopper landing on the roof became audible.
“Hang on man, hope might just be on the way” muttered one of the nurses. Then the phone rang. It was Dr. Effiong again on the phone.
“Adigun, I am sure you can hear the chopper landing at your end. They will get to work as soon as they hit the ground”
At that moment, the patient began to shake violently. Time was running out. The Nurses scrambled to his side and held him still.
Footsteps could be heard running down the corridor towards the ward. They were those of the ADC operatives.
The patient opened his bloodshot eyes for a moment. Then he fell back into unconsciousness. His body had turned almost entirely blue. A pulse was almost non-existent. It was either now or never.
Three ADC guys pushed into the ward. One of them, Arab looking, carried a silver box labeled “Bayer Labs”. He quickly laid it on a table, clicked the box open and immediately began to fill a metallic syringe with liquid from a blue vial.
At that instant the patient stopped moving.
The Arab Doctor pushed the needle straight into the patient’s heart. He had stopped breathing.
5 Weeks Later.
“Gentlemen of the press, my name is Dr. Paul Effiong, Director of ADC. I have some information to share with you this afternoon……………………..”
Sitting by his side at the World Press Conference were Dr. Babatunde Adigun, Mr. Kolade Orimolade, a teacher and father of four. He had just been discharged from hospital. He had just defeated Ebola. The vaccine test worked. The world just found a cure.