A suspected case of the dreaded Ebola virus which has been ravaging parts of East and Central Africa has been reported in Lagos within the last 24 hours. A 40-year-old Liberian who entered Lagos from Liberia at 4.00pm on Sunday was tested for the virus according to recent breaking media reports, but has been reported dead a few hours ago. If all suspicions are proved correct, this would be the first recorded case of one of the world’s deadliest diseases in Nigeria.
This is a call to caution for residents as well as visitors to Lagos State (and the entire country) as a matter of urgency as they could get infected if the virus has not been safely contained and possibly spread by the infected Liberian.
Some facts about Ebola every Nigerian needs to know now.
Fast Facts about Ebola:
² Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
² The virus is transmitted from wild animals to people and spreads in humans through person-person transmission.
² Fruit Bats of the Pteropodiae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
² Severely ill patients require intensive support care.
² Incubation period, that is the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days.
² NO LICENSED SPECIFIC TRAETMENT OR VACCINE is available.
How is Ebola Transmitted?
Ebola is transmitted through Close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals. It can also be spread among humans from an infected individual to healthy persons through
o direct contact (broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions (sweat, urine, etc), organs or other bodily fluids of infected people,
o indirect contact with environments contacted with such fluids,
o burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the diseased person,
o men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the disease through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery.
People at Highest Risk:
1. Health-care workers (e.g. doctors, nurses, lab scientists, etc) who have frequent contact with patients, their body fluids, as well as infected environment,
2. Workers in contact with monkeys or pigs, and other infected animals,
3. Abattoir workers.
Signs and Symptoms of Ebola:
Ebola is a severely acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of the following
§ Intense weakness
§ Muscle pain
§ Headache and sore throat
§ Vomiting, Diarrhea, Rash, Impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases both internal and external bleeding from eyes and nose following.
Here are some preventive measures we all can take to keep ourselves from getting infected by this deadly disease,
à Routine cleaning and disinfection of pig or monkey farms with sodium hypochlorite (PRESEPTTM, Bleach, etc) or other detergents,
à Avoid consumption of likely infected animals such as Fruit Bats, Monkeys & Pigs, especially their raw meat,
à Handle all animals with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing,
à Animal products (Meat, Blood-sausage, etc) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption,
à Avoid close contact with infected persons
à Wash your hands frequently with detergent or soap using clean water, especially after visiting hospitals or taking care of patients, even at home,
à Get a hand sanitizer for visitors to your home, office, church, school to use and educate them on the importance of sanitizers,
à Avoid buying foodstuff or other personal materials from markets & Shops that share the same vicinity with live or roasted bush meat, dealers or sellers,
à After touching railings of stairs, door knobs, toilet seats and other utilities in public places, ensure to wash hands or use sanitizer.
à Watch out for people with flu-like symptoms and sudden fever,
à Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients even at home (especially for health workers and care givers).
In all this, it is important that we get everyone enlightened about this virus, and more importantly do all we can to prevent infection and spread of the virus.
For more information, visit the following websites:
Centre for Disease Control - http://cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/index.html
Written by Precious Nwanganga © 2014
Email him on firstname.lastname@example.org