His name was Patrick Sawyer, a Liberian who died yesterday in Lagos from a suspected case of the newest epidemic- Ebola. May his soul R.I.P.
Ebola is a virus which causes the Ebola Virus Disease or Ebola Hemorrhagic fever; the symptoms of the disease include fever, sore throat, muscle pains, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys and as the disease progresses, the affected person begins to bleed from any or all of the following – mouth, nose, ears, eyes, skin, internal bleeding, prolonged bleeding from wounds etc. Death inevitably occurs in about a week, as there is no known vaccination or cure at present.
Can you catch Ebola?
Yes! A person can get Ebola by eating contaminated bush meat or touching a contaminated corpse or coming in contact with contaminated blood or body fluids of an infected animal such as a monkey or fruit bat (farmers and hunters beware) and even pigs but that isn’t why we are all worried after all how many average Nigerians get to do any of these things.
Well here is the problem: EBOLA IS SPREAD FROM ONE INDIVIDUAL TO ANOTHER BY PHYSICAL CONTACT!
– If you touch a person who has Ebola virus, you will be at risk. (Think about the health workers who treated the Liberian man and initially didn’t know he was infected and then think of all the other people they could have touched- in the hospital, at home, in the bus etc.) THANKFULLY, DOCTORS OBEY UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS and wash their hands after seeing a patient. The question is, do you?
– Men who survive an infection with Ebola (yes, a few people do survive, the disease kills 50-90% of infected victims) may be able to transmit the disease sexually for nearly two months. GIRLFRIENDS, WIVES and SIDECHICKS BEWARE!
Ok so now you see the magnitude of the problem. The dude who shook your hand could have Ebola. The lady who touched you may be infected. The caretaker trying to get that body to the morgue may be joining him soon and the doctors, nurses and the other members of the health team are very much at risk. The brave doctor who was spearheading the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has been infected by the virus and his predecessor died of Lassa fever (Ebola’s brother). If you felt the Nigerian doctors were being greedy by asking for a meaningful hazard allowance, think again. The money won’t stave off death but at least it would show the risk they were taking was duly compensated!
So how can you prevent catching the disease and how can you help curb the epidemic?
- Wash your hands with soap and water and if you can help it carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your bag so that every time you touch an individual, you disinfect your hands.
- Forget about bush meat right now. Do not visit joints that offer exotic meat. Yes I know it tastes great with palm wine but dead men don’t drink remember? (Libation doesn’t count!)
- If you suspect your neighbor has Ebola or even your family or friends, do not take them to a chemist, please take them straight to a teaching hospital AND DO NOT TOUCH THEM OR THEIR BLOOD, FAECES, URINE, TEARS, SPUTUM OR SWEAT and if you have been in close contact with them, avoid contact with others till you are sure you didn’t catch it.
- Health workers please observe UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS abeg!!! Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected individuals.
- Don’t touch the dead body of an infected person.
- Do not travel to a place where an Ebola epidemic has broken out (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan)
- Avoid touching contaminated materials and utensils used by an infected person.
- Call 08057886636, 08023169485, 08033086660, 08033065303, 08055281442, 08055329229 to report a case or ask questions.
Ebola virus is highly infectious and contagious and it has no cure. Please stay safe!
Don’t panic, just stay calm and wash your hands, thank God it isn’t air-borne!
Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,