The Lagos state government at the weekend advised the public to observe personal and environmental hygiene as part of precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of Ebola disease in the state. The state Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, gave the advice in a statement issued in Lagos.
He said the advice was necessary because of the increase in cases of deaths caused by the Ebola disease in some neighbouring West African countries, such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. He listed the preventive measures to include regular washing of hands with soap and water and avoiding close contact with people infected by the disease. He also advised that objects used by infected people should be properly disposed to reduce the risk of infection, even as he said that Ebola was caused by a virus whose natural reservoir was not completely known.
While pointing out that fruits and bats had been considered to be the natural host of the virus, Idris said “The virus can be spread through close contact with the blood, body fluids, organs and tissues of infected animals as well as direct contact with blood, organs or body secretions of an infected person.
“The transmission of the virus by other animals like monkey and chimpanzee cannot be ruled out, ‘’ he said. Idris said that those at the risk of easily contacting the disease were health workers and families or friends of an infected person, adding that the disease could be contacted in the course of feeding, holding and caring for victims.
Meanwhile, early symptoms of Ebola desease, according to him, include, fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, backache, and joint pains, while later symptoms include, bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and rectum, swelling of the eyes and the genitals
and rashes all over the body that often contain blood.
“It could progress to coma, shock and death, ‘’ he said, pointing out that presently, there is no specific treatment for the disease.
He said that infected persons would have to be admitted in hospital for specialised care and treated in isolation.
“The Lagos state government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health is putting measures in place to prevent the entry and spread of Ebola in the country.
These measures include: sensitisation of health workers, active search for cases of the disease, and continuous sensitisaton of the public, ‘’ he said. (NAN)