Lagos State Issues Alert On Ebola Virus, Gives Precautionary Tips

The increasing cases of deaths from the outbreak of Ebola virus in some neighbouring West African countries is worrisome, the Lagos state government,  yesterday gave some  precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak  of the deadly virus in the state.

A file photo taken on June 25, 2014 shows the isolation ward at the Donka Hospital in Conakry where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. A regional centre is being set up in Guinea to coordinate the response to the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola that has killed hundreds of people in West Africa, the World Health Organisation said on July 11, 2014. The haemorrhagic fever sweeping through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has left an estimated 539 people dead, according to the latest WHO figures.

Ebola virus is currently ravaging many communities in some West African countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone among others.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, in a statement, said the measures became necessary with a view to preventing the outbreak of the disease in the State, listing the measures include; washing of hands often with soap and water, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and ensuring that objects used by the sick are decontaminated and properly disposed.

He advised health workers to be at alert and ensure they always wore personal protective equipment as well as observed universal basic precautions when attending to suspected or confirmed cases, and report same to their Local Government Area or Ministry of Health immediately.

Idris explained that “Ebola is caused by the Ebola virus and outbreaks occur primarily in villages of the Central and West Africa. The virus can be spread through, close contact with the blood, body fluids, organ and tissues of infected animals; direct contact with blood, organ or body secretions of an infected person. The transmission of the virus by other animals like monkey and chimpanzee cannot be ruled out.”

The Commissioner noted that those at the highest risk of the disease included health workers; and families or friends of an infected who could be infected in the course of feeding, holding and caring for them.

He stressed that “Early symptoms of disease include fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, backache, and joint pains. Later symptoms include bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose, bleeding from the mouth and rectum, eye swelling, swelling of the genitals and rashes all over the body that often contain blood. It could progress to coma, shock and death.”

Idris noted that presently, there was no specific treatment for Ebola disease, stressing that infected persons would need to be admitted into the hospital for specialised care and treated in isolation.

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