According to a report by the WHO, about 18 people are suspected to have died from the recent Ebola outbreak, in the area of Northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This is the ninth known Ebola outbreak to strike the DRC whose Ebola river gave the virus its name when it was discovered in the 1970s.
Consequently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Nigeria and other countries in the African region to be at moderate risk of spread.
Ebola virus disease is a rare deadly disease that affects both human and non-human primates. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from the disease. It can also be transmitted via contact with objects contaminated by infected persons as well as direct contact with body fluids and tissues of infected bats or primates.
The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), warned Nigerians to be cautious and take safety measures to prevent an outbreak of the virus in the country.
In order to achieve this, the NCDC have advised the public to adhere to the following precautionary measures:
- Wash your hands frequently using soap and water; use hand sanitizers when soap and water is not readily available.
- Avoid physical contact with anyone who has possible symptoms of an infection with an unknown diagnosis.
- To make sure fruits and vegetables are washed properly and peeled before consumption
- Avoid direct handling of dead wild animals
- Health workers are advised to adhere to the universal care precautions at all times.
In addition the NCDC says it has sent out letters to the 36 states of the federation, asking them to increase surveillance activities. Also screening measures have been heightened at the Port Health services.