Lagos wary of Ebola spread over festive period

ABUJA: THE Lagos State Government has called on residents to guard against the recurrence of the Ebola virus during the festive season.

Residents have thus been reminded to be mindful of their eating and drinking habits during the period to ensure the state continued to remain Ebola-free.

Authorities said since the season was noted for wining, dining and visiting of relations and friends, particularly those coming from other countries, it becomes imperative to be on the alert.

The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, urged residents to observe good personal and environmental hygiene and follow advice given by the State Government.

He said presently, while there is no active case of Ebola in the country, the disease was 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,” Idris said.

He advised citizens to take basic precautionary measures against the disease by washing their hands with soap and water frequently, particularly after touching sick people, avoiding 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.

Idris also urged citizens to cook all foods, particularly meat, thoroughly before eating, clean all surfaces that have been contaminated with body secretions with bleach or detergents and desist from sharing sharp objects such as needles and razor blade.

“Please, do not defecate or urinate indiscriminately and notify health authorities of anyone coming from any West African country into your community,” he said.

He assured that the State Government was still carrying out active search for cases while follow-up on rumoured cases were ongoing. Ebola is caused by a virus that is transmitted to man by fruits, bats and wild animals.

It is spread by handling or undercooking infected meat and having close contact with secretions like blood, urine, semen, saliva, vomits and breast milk of an infected person.

Several deaths were recorded locally earlier this year following what has been the deadliest outbreak in history. Lagos was the epicentre of the local scourge.