We all need to remain alert because infectious diseases don’t respect borders and can easily spread from place to place. They can spread anywhere and everywhere! We saw this when Ebola came to Nigeria in 2014 as the source was a Liberian man who traveled from Monrovia to Lagos, bringing the virus with him.
Read on to learn about the Ebola virus and how to stay safe wherever you are.
WHY DOES EBOLA KEEP COMING BACK?
DRC has had 9 outbreaks of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976. The Ebola virus is endemic (or “native”) to DRC and lives in animals. Since we cannot eradicate all the animals who may carry the virus, and as long as humans continue to come in contact with these animals, there will always be the possibility of another Ebola outbreak.
HOW EBOLA SPREADS
Ebola is not spread through the air or water.
Some Ebola symptoms mimic malaria, typhoid, and cholera symptoms so please go to the hospital if you have any of the following:
HOW TO PREVENT INFECTION
To stay safe, you must:
3 healthworkers in DRC have already been infected in the current outbreak so health professionals should practice proper infection prevention and control measures and make use of personal protective equipment when treating suspected cases.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET SICK
Early diagnosis is important to increase the chances of a full recovery. If you suspect that you or someone around you has Ebola, seek medical treatment immediately.
For suspected cases, contact:
WHAT DRASA IS DOING?
The Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh (DRASA) Health Trust exists to strengthen Nigeria’s level of readiness for events like this so we will continue to support the government on preparedness activities to help prevent another Ebola outbreak.
Last week we participated in a simulation exercise to assess preparedness and response at a major port of entry in Nigeria. We will continue to train healthworkers on how to practice universal precautions and identify possible infectious patients while also protecting themselves. We will also continue to conduct our community and youth engagement programs, promote key messages through various social media channels, and leverage traditional media (radio, TV, print) to sensitize people all over the country on what is happening, what to look out for, and how they can protect themselves.
WHAT CAN I DO?
A lot of great work has been done to ensure that Nigeria is prepared, but now more than ever with this immediate threat of Ebola resurfacing in DRC, we all need to remain alert. Please practice all the prevention tips above and share this information with your loved ones.
If you have any questions, email us at [email protected]