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Published On: Mon, Aug 18th, 2014

Ebola: Experts caution against panicking

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Ebola-VirusFrom Suleiman Idris, Lagos

Medical experts have  warned of the damage being done by the perceived fear over the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has continued to ravage few countries of the West African sub region, with Nigeria recording over 10 cases including deaths of health officials treating patients.

A group of medical experts in the country’s aviation sector said that the panic associated with EVD is more dangerous than the disease itself.

They also described the disease as an emerging one that will take time before experts develop its vaccine.

The experts spoke during a sensitisation seminar on Ebola, organised by the Women in Aviation at the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos at the weekend.

Acting General Manager, Aviation Clinic, Dr. Olawale Oduwole affirmed that since the outbreak of the disease Nigerians have been very busy trying to ensure that they don’t contact EVD.

He stated that the extra caution been taken by Nigerians today is because of the deadly nature of the disease, which kills its victims at a very short period.

“Today because of the deadly nature of the disease, the panic associated with the disease is much more dangerous than the Ebola virus itself” he said.

Oduwole explained that because of the outbreak of EVD, people no longer talk about malaria for example, which according to him kills over 1000 people daily.

“Malaria kills over 1000 people daily yet we are not talking about it. We talk about Ebola because we know that Ebola is very dangerous and because the chances of the victim of the Ebola virus surviving is very slim” An official from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Aeromedical, Dr. Wilfred Haggai, said that the agency has issued directives to airlines on the measures that should be put in place to ensure that carriers of the virus are not brought into the country.

He added that there are penalties for disobeying this directive, adding that already airlines have been penalised for this.

He advised participants to sensitise their friends, neighbours, Church members and

colleagues at work place and enemies on the disease to further create awareness about it, adding that by creating awareness we can reduce the spread of EVD.

President of Women in Aviation, Mrs Rejoice Ndudinachi, said that the group decided to embark on the sensitisation seminar due to the dangerous nature of the disease that has killed over 1000 people.

She said it is part of the group’s contribution towards creating awareness on EVD, which according to her has no cure presently.

She added that in the event that there is no soap or water, sanitizer must be used, adding that the virus can survive in semen for 61 days.

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