The Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, has on Monday, December 22, 2014 issued a warning to residents of the state of the possibility of a re-introduction of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease in the state especially in this period of Christmas celebrations.
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By virtue of this possibility, Idris urged residents to always alert health authorities of anyone coming from any West African country into their communities to avert fresh outbreak of disease.
He also warned people to be careful with what they eat and drink during the celebration and observe good personal and environmental hygiene.
According to Idris, since Christmas is noted for wining, dining and visits by relations and friends, particularly those coming from other countries, it becomes imperative for them to be on the alert.
He said, “Presently, there is no active case of Ebola in the country. But Ebola is still a threat as its presence in neighbouring West Africa countries puts the nation at risk.
“This is why we need to be on the alert and observe a high degree of personal and environmental hygiene especially during this season of celebrations to prevent the disease from resurfacing in the country again.”
He further charged the public to take basic precautionary measures against the viral disease by ensuring they wash their hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coming in contact with sick people.
In addition, Idris advised that people should avoid direct contact with body fluids like saliva, vomit, stool, semen, vaginal fluids and urine of suspected persons and avoid eating fruits half eaten by animals.
He said, “Please, do not defecate or urinate indiscriminately and notify the health authority of anyone coming from any West African country into your community.
“Be assured that the Lagos State Government is still carrying out active search for cases while follow-up on rumoured cases are ongoing and we will keep providing you with update and disease prevention messages.”
He also warned health officials to keep observing the universal safety precautions when dealing with patients, noting that early detection of the disease and care could save lives.
“Do not attempt to care for any suspected case on your own. Please call the Ebola Help line 0800-EBOLAHELP or 0800- 32652-4357 or the local government nearest to you for help.
“With your cooperation, we can achieve a healthy population next year and beyond,” he warned.
Signs and symptoms of the disease include unexplained fever that does not respond to usual treatment, intense weakness, rashes, vomiting and diarrhoea which may be accompanied by bleeding from body openings like the ear, nose, mouth and anus.
Meanwhile, the latest outbreak of the disease is regarded as the deadliest in history as it has killed over 5, 000 persons.
The disease was imported into Nigeria by a Liberian named Patrick Sawyer although the country was officially declared free of the disease by World Health Organisation on October 20, 2014 after two incubation period without a fresh case.
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