Ebola Cannot Be Contracted By Eating Bush Meat, says Yewande Adeshina




Sierra Leone president visits Ebola centreSpecial Adviser on Public Affairs to the Lagos State Governor, Dr Yewande Adeshina, on Tuesday debunked claims that eating bush meat can lead to a human getting infected by the dreaded Ebola virus.

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“We don’t we have any proven scientific relationship between eating bush meat and catching the infection. But we do know that preparation of these wild animals, especially if they carry the virus, can lead to the infection”, she said while speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily.

She further noted that no animal has been confirmed as the “natural reservoir for the virus” but was quick to add that “fruit bats are implicated and they are very common in the tropical rain forest area”.

She added that the fruit bat carries the virus in a symbiotic relationship. “The virus does not infect the bat; they live together in a communal relationship” she said.

She however noted if a human or an animal eats from the same fruit an infected bat has eaten from, they will get infected adding that with “bush meat for instance, humans catch the animal, kills it, treats it; the blood gets on the human and it infects the human” warning that “it is not so much the eating of the bush meat as much as the preparing because the blood is where the virus is in, not in the meat itself”.

Dr Adeshina advised those who prepare bush meat to boil it above 60 degrees “because such temperatures can kill the virus.

“But if you air dry it or smoke it on a low barbeque kind of thing and you have raw parts of the bush meat and you eat it, you may be infected; but we don’t we have any proven scientific relationship between eating bush meat and catching the infection. But we do know that preparation of these wild animals, especially if they carry the virus, can lead to the infection”, she said.

Dr Adeshina also urged Nigerians not to be wary of people they see around daily because of the reported outbreak, insisting that “a person infected with Ebola virus cannot be walking around; they are deadly sick. So you are not going to run into them in the store or the market.

“Before the illness strikes they can go round because they are not infectious” but warned that “the minute their fever breaks and the system starts crashing is when they become infectious and by that time you will see that that person is really sick,” she added.

She further stated that but for the organisation of the agency the late Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian who was killed by the virus in a private hospital in Lagos, works for, the Federal and Lagos State governments would have had their work cut out for them. [eap_ad_2] She said “he works for an organisation that is really organised. They have their liaison officer, protocol officer and a dedicated vehicle” insisting that “that was the break we got because if this man had gone into a public transportation system, gone to a hotel, we wouldn’t be talking prevention now, we would be scared of an outbreak.

59 Persons Under Watch

Meanwhile the 59 people said to have come in contact with the late Liberian are said to be under watch by the relevant authorities.

This was disclosed at a joint ministerial press briefing of the Lagos State Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of Health, in Lagos, on Monday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris.

Dr Idris also affirmed that no Nigerian had been infected by the dreaded disease.

The airline that flew late Patrick Sawyer to Nigeria, according to the state government, had, however, not yet provided the flight manifest.

The state government called for calm, assuring that its collaborative efforts with the Federal Government were enough to ensure that the disease did not spread.

Dr Idris informed that so far, a total of 59 contacts were registered, consisting of 44 hospital contacts (38 healthcare workers and six laboratory staff) and 15 airport contacts, comprising three ECOWAS staff-driver, liaison and protocol officers, Nigerian Ambassador to Monrovia, two nursing staff and five airport passenger handlers.

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