December 21, 2014 – Lagos State Government has called on residents of the state to be mindful of what they do, eat and drink and those they mingle with during the yuletide celebrations following outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the international community.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who gave the observation said the warning becomes imperative since the season is noted for wining, dining and visiting of relations and friends particularly those coming from other countries.
He called on residents to observe personal and environmental hygiene and follow advice given by the State Government on the prevention of EVD.
“Presently, there is no active case of Ebola in the country but Ebola is still a threat as its presence in neigbouring West Africa countries puts the nation at risk, this is why 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 again”.
Idris adviced citizens to take basic precautionary measures against the disease by washing their hands with soap and water frequently, particularly after touching sick people and avoid 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.
The Commissioner also urge 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 the health authority of anyone coming from any West African Country into your community. Be assured that the Lagos State Government is still carrying out active search for cases while follow-up on rumoured cases are on- going and we will keep providing you with update and disease prevention messages”, Idris stated.
Commissioner added that signs and symptoms of the disease include unexplained fever that does not respond to usual treatment, intense weakness, rashes, vomiting and diarrhea which may be accompanied by bleeding from body openings like the ear, nose, mouth and anus.
Idris posited that Ebola Virus Disease is not a death sentence stressing that a sizeable number of those who contracted the disease are still alive adding that herbal remedies have not been proven to be efficacious.
While urging health workers to keep observing the universal safety precautions when dealing with patients, the Commissioner noted that early detection of the disease and care can save lives.
Said he, “do not attempt to care for any suspected case on your own. Please call the Ebola Help line 0800-EBOLAHELP or 0800-32652-4357or the Local Government nearest to you for help. With your cooperation, we can achieve a healthy population next year and beyond”.