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Published On: Sun, Jul 27th, 2014

Ebola outbreak: be vigilant, watch out for signs

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Ebola VirusBy Doyin Ojosipe

Ebola disease has been named world’s deadliest as it kills about 90% of its victims within the shortest time of infection. It is a fearful ailment because no vaccine or cure has been discovered and rated effective to suppress or tackle it.

The virus infects the liver, destroys the lining of the blood vessels, stops blood from clothing, causes blood loss,

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), figures of July, 17, it has affected over 1000 and killed an estimated 632 people since its outbreak, about four months ago, in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon; while spreading like wild fire.

However, the first case of Ebola outbreak in Nigeria was reported on the 22nd of July, when a Liberian national, late, sawyer Patrick arrived Nigeria with about 50 other passengers aboard an Aska airline which landed at the Murtala airport, in Lagos.

Lagos is reported to house an estimation of about 21 million people, thus the effect of such deadly disease outbreak in the city cannot be overlooked; as it is also the commercial nerve of the country.

As part of the red alert put in Place, the general public have been enjoined to look out for the following symptoms and contact the appropriate quotas for quick response.

 It has been noted that, the incubation period, could last for  about 1 week (rarely up to 2 weeks) after infection, symptoms include:

•Arthritis

•Backache (low-back pain)

•Chills

•Diarrhea

•Fatigue

•Fever

•Headache

•Malaise

•Nausea

•Sore throat

•Vomiting

 While late symptoms include:

•Bleeding from eyes, ears, and nose

•Bleeding from the mouth and rectum (gastrointestinal bleeding)

•Eye swelling (conjunctivitis)

•Genital swelling (labia and scrotum)

•Increased feeling of pain in the skin

•Rash over the entire body that often contains blood (hemorrhagic)

•Roof of mouth looks red

There may also be signs and symptoms of:

•Coma

•Disseminated intravascular coagulation

•Shock

•Fever

•Headache

•Muscle aches

•Sore throat

•Weakness

•Diarrhea

As the disease gets worse, people who are infected may develop:

•Bleeding inside and outside of the body

•Rash

•Trouble breathing

Preventive measures to be taken

The disease is mostly contracted from infected animals, while it is passed through fluids from one human to another.  It is however of use to reduce or and eliminate contacts with animals, especially wild animals.

Avoid contact with forest antelopes, porcupines, and fruit bats, and do not handle live or dead wild animals such as primates too.

Good personal hygiene and sanitation is also one preventive measures to be taken

Facts about Ebola:

Ebola virus infection is a human disease, contracted through fluids from infected animals; whether dead or alive.

The virus is of five types namely:

Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Ebola Ivory Coast, Ebola Bundibugyo and Ebola Reston; of all the viruses, only Ebola Reston is not found in Africa, while its tendency to be completely harmful has not been disclosed as it is only known to affect animals alone.

Its first outbreak was in 1976 at the Republic of Congo, in central Africa and also in south Sudan. It was named after the Ebola River where the virus was first noticed.

The MSF says while the virus is believed to be able to survive for some days in liquid outside an infected organism, it is fragile and chlorine disinfection, heat, direct sunlight, soaps and detergents can kill it.

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