Ebola virus: HFN calls for intensified public enlightenment




LAGOS – The Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), on Saturday in Lagos, called for vigorous public enlightenment on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)  to enable the people take adequate precautionary measures.

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Mrs Clare Omatseye, the president of the Federation, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that increased awareness on Ebola virus, especially regarding the risk factors and protection measures, was the most efficient  way of checking its spread in the country.

She urged people to wash their hands regularly and health workers to also start wearing protection kits while attending to patients with high fever.

“Wash your hands frequently, especially after shaking a stranger. Get a hand sanitizer for people to use in your office and homes.

“Also, Get sanitizers for your kids to use in school frequently. Be careful with hand railings, doors and other utilities used by the public.

“Avoid eating any bush meat and improperly cooked meat. Do not touch patients, their excreta and body fluids, “she advised. Omatseye further advised health workers to observe universal basic precautions when attending to suspected or confirmed cases of the disease.

“Wear protective clothing, including masks, gloves, gowns, and eye covers. Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures.

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“Isolate Ebola patients from unprotected people.  Avoid direct contact with the bodies of people who died from Ebola.

“Taking the following precautions are reasonably resourceful steps to prevent exposure and transmission of the virus, “she said.

Omatseye said that said that Ebola was caused by a virus whose natural reservoir was not completely known.

She said that fruits and bats had been identified to be the natural host of the virus.

“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 incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is two to 21 days

“Early symptoms of Ebola include fever, intense weakness, muscle and joint pain, headache, sore throat and red eyes. “Later symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. It could progress to coma, shock and death. Omatseye said that as at now, the disease had no cure and therefore urged Nigerians to be very careful. NAN reports that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, on Friday, announced the death of a Liberian national, Mr Patrick Sawyer, who was reported to have imported the suspected Ebola Virus Disease to Nigeria.(NAN).

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