You will recall that three months ago, your attention was drawn to the outbreak of a deadly disease known as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in some of the neighbouring West African countries. Current update from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone shows alarming increase in the number of cases and deaths due to this disease.Two days ago i.e. on Tuesday July 22, 2014, Lagos Ministry of Health received information concerning a suspected case of Ebola Virus Disease from a private health facility.
Details of the suspected case were obtained from the health facility – a 40-yr old Liberian working for a West African organisation in Monrovia (Liberia) who arrived Lagos on a flight from Monrovia via Lome on Sunday July 20, 2014 at 4pm. History taken revealed that he had no contact with any case of 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 EVD. However, on account of his working and living in an endemic region for EVD (Liberia) 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, the patient was admitted and detained on suspicion for possible EBV infection while blood sample collection and testing was initiated of which included samples to the Virology Reference Laboratory, LUTH, Idi-Araba. Blood samples were also sent to a WHO Reference Laboratory in Dakar (Senegal) which is actively in process and results are pending.
Presently, the patient’s condition is stable and is in recovery. The diarrhea and vomiting has stopped. Intravenous infusion has also been stooped and he is now tolerating by mouth; while the health facility has since initiated Universal Infection Prevention and Control has been instituted with measures to prevent spread of the disease and guarantee the safety of other patients and staff of the health facility.
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Health, WHO and Port Health Services have been partnering with the State Government in areas of contact tracing and other specialized care.
Lagosians are hereby reminded to remain calm and take appropriate measures for the prevention and control of the disease. Ebola Virus Disease is caused by the Ebola virus and outbreaks occur primarily in villages of the Central and West Africa. Although the natural reservoir of the virus is not completely known, fruit bats have been considered to be the natural host. Ebola virus can be spread through:
Those at the highest risk include health workers, families and friends of an infected person in the course of feeding, holding and caring for them.
Early symptoms of Ebola Virus 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 blistered rashes all over the body that often contain blood. It could progress to coma, shock or death.
Suspect Ebola Virus disease in persons who develop bleeding from the body openings (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.
Presently, there is no specific treatment for Ebola virus disease. Infected persons will need to be admitted into the hospital for specialized care and treated in strict isolation in line with international standards.
Reduce your risk of infection by observing high standards of personal and environmental hygiene:
· Wash your hands often with soap and water
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick
· Ensure that objects used by the sick are decontaminated and properly disposed
All fluids from an infected person are extremely dangerous. Health workers are advised to be at alert, always wear personal protective equipment, observe universal basic precautions when attending to suspected / confirmed cases, nurse patients in isolation and report same to the LGA or Ministry of Health IMMEDIATELY.
Please contact the following numbers;
Take responsibility for your health, your community, your state, your country and the international community.
Eko o ni baje o
LAGOS STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
Thursday, July 24, 2014