Ebola Virus Hits Lagos
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The deadly Ebola Virus Disease which has killed over over 500 people in West Africa has hit Lagos, the Lagos state government says.
Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, presently, has no cure and is ravaging neighbouring West African countries with many people killed and nations still at risk of the deadly disease.
At a news conference in Alausa, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Thursday, Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, told newsmen that a 40-year old Liberian, working for a West African Organiation in Moronvia, Liberia, who arrived Lagos last Sunday is suspected to have the disease.
She said details of the suspected case were obtained from a private health facility in the state, which she refused to mention, saying that history taken revealed that the 40-year old man had no contact with EVD, did not visit any person with EVD in the hospital and neither did he partake in the burial of any person who died of the disease.
“However, on account of working and living in an endemic region for EVD, and the presentation of non-specific constitutional symptoms and signs (fever, malaise, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea etc) associated with EVD, a high index of suspicion was raised.
“Based on this, blood samples were taken to Virology Reference Laboratory, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, on Tuesday. Preliminary results necessitated the confirmation of EVD at a World Health Organisation, WHO Reference Laboratory in Dakar, Senegal which is actively in process,” she said.
According to her, the patient’s condition is considered stale while the health facility had since initiated Universal Safety Precautionary measures to prevent spread of the disease and guaranteed safety of other patients.
Adeshina said the Federal Ministry of Health, including Port Health Services were partners with the state government in areas of contact tracing and other specialised care, urging Lagosians to remain calm and take appropriate measures for the prevention of the disease.
The Special Adviser explained that Ebola virus disease is caused by a virus which natural reservoir of virus is not completely known, stressing that fruit bats have been considered to be the natural host of the virus.
“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,” she said.
Adeshina noted that those at the highest risk of the disease include health-workers; and families or friends of an infected person who could be infected in the course of feeding, holding and caring for them.
She stressed that Ebola virus disease should be suspected in persons who develop bleeding from the body openings like the mouth, nose, rectum and ear; a close contact with a person who is infected; or health worker who had treated either suspected or confirmed infected person.
“Early symptoms of the 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,” Adeshina explained.
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