-Ebola virus is not airborne, waterborne or spreads through casual contact
More Nigerians Panic over spread of Ebola Virus
The news in recent days about the outbreak of Ebola virus in Nigeria has continued to cause panic in cities where cases have been reported especially in Lagos. Since Friday July 25, 2014 when the Liberian Patrick Sawyer died of the virus at First Consultants Medical Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, (the first to be recorded in Nigeria) there have been reports of other cases discovered in places like Lagos, Borno, Abuja.
The heightened tension came to a boiling point on Friday, August 8, 2014, when news went to town that people should bath with salt water and drink from it before going out. Confronted with threat from a dreaded disease that has neither cure nor vaccine, panicking Nigerians turned to salt water bath recommended as the guard against Ebola. The call for salt water bath reportedly originated from two sources, the ruler of the Igala Kingdom, the Attah of Igala said to have prescribed salt solution as a magical vaccine against the Ebola virus to his subjects Thursday night before it went viral. The prescription, initially meant for people of the Igala Kingdom went viral on social media and text messaging platforms. Relatives made calls to one another advising was to bath with salt water solution.
Another claim of the salt water solution also emanated from the popular Catholic priest, Ejike Mbaka, who made calls to followers to perform some religious vaccination which included drinking salt water. Salt and water are the major ingredients of the holy water used for a wide range of physical and spiritual purpose by Catholics. Medical practitioners and the government were quick to rubbish the salt solution claim as it would not cure the virus rather taking too much salt is harmful to the body system.
Ebola virus spreads when the bodily fluid of an infected person comes into contact with the mucous membranes of a non-infected person. That means Ebola virus in fluids like blood, sweat or urine has to come in contact with your eyes, mouth, nostrils, ears, genital area or an open wound in order to infect you. It takes a lot of contact not just casual contact to become infected with the virus, which is why many of the victims of the disease in West Africa are health care workers or family members caring for sick relatives. Transmission is easily prevented with precautionary measures like face masks, gloves, protective gowns and isolation units.
EBOLA CANNOT BE PREVENTED BY BATHING OR DRINKING A SALT AND WATER SOLUTION
Only people who are exhibiting Ebola symptoms can pass the virus on to others, only people exhibiting Ebola symptoms, like fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, can pass the virus on to others.
This is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history, but it isn’t the first. The virus was first diagnosed in humans in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It infected 318 people and had an 88 percent fatality rate. Since then, various strains of the disease have popped up around the African continent, infecting as many as 425 people in 2000 and, most recently, 57 people in 2012, according to World Head Organization, WHO. As of August 4, 2014, the most recent count available, Ebola virus has infected 1,711 people and killed 932 in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the virus emerged again this year.
EBOLA CANNOT BE TREATED WITH ANTIBIOTICS
Antibiotics cure bacterial infections, not viral infections. Currently, there is neither a cure nor a vaccine for the Ebola virus.
ANOTHER EBOLA CASE RECORDED IN LAGOS
Days after First Consultants Medical Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos was shut due to Ebola crisis, another hospital in the metropolis has also been closed down. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) clinic on Muri Okunola Victoria Island Lagos, was shut on Friday, August 8, 2014 after a suspected Ebola patient was found to be admitted at the clinic. The patient was reported to have first been admitted at First Consultant Medical Centre around the same time Liberian Patrick Sawyer was being treated at the clinic. There was no definite confirmation that the patient is infected with Ebola, the Management of NNPC Clinic just announced the indefinite shutdown of the clinic. The management said its a pre emptive step and also said they have reported the issue to the Federal Ministry of Health as well as officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
FIRST CONSULTANTS HOSPITAL STILL UNDER LOCK
First Consultants Medical Centre, Ikoyi, the hospital where the first Ebola case was reported in Lagos is still under lock as the management of the hospital continue with the renovation of the place, that was when ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the place on Friday, August 8, 2014. The hospital was shut after Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian man died of the virus, the management did not give an exact date the place would be reopened for business.
PASTOR TAIWO ODUKOYA CANCELS VIGIL
The usual vigil scheduled to hold on Friday, August 8, 2014, at The Fountain Of Life Church was called off by the lead pastor of the church Taiwo Odukoya. The preacher announced the cancellation Friday morning by sending text messages to members that could be reached while the message was spread to other members. The pastor’s wife, Pastor Nomthi Odukoya also wrote on the social media about the cancellation.
“Please, note there will be no vigil tonight (August 8, 2014). Kindly inform your friends and loved ones. May God continue to keep you from every evil in Jesus’ name.”
The directive, according to a source was giving because the Lagos state government advised religious organisations to suspend activities that would bring large gathering together at least for now while the virus is contained from spreading. The Redeemed Christian Church of God under Pastor E.A Adeboye however went on with its convention on Friday, August 8, 2014 at the Redemption Camp, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway despite the government directive in Ogun state. The leadership of the church put in place some preventive measures to avoid the virus near the camp, they disinfect and fumigate inside the camp.
JOKES ABOUT EBOLA
Trust Nigerians, they can joke about any serious situation at every point in time. Since the Ebola crisis the social media has been awash with sarcastic comments some of which are presented here:
If you received any message about salt in warm water preventing Ebola and you believed and spread the message, here are some small ‘tips’ for you.
Kindly go to your university, polytechnic or college of education and return your degree certificate.
Also kindly ensure you refund all the fees you paid to your parents.
Kindly note that you are now a certified illiterate.
Please, when bathing with hot water and salt, add a little Maggi and pepper, crayfish and onion to spice it up. Please don’t forget to make garri.
A man was kidnapped yesterday and taken to an unknown location. When they asked him which member of his family will pay the ransom, he told them his family members have been avoiding him since he came back from Liberia with fever and diarrhea, he has not seen his kidnappers since then. The whole compound is now empty and he’s hungry. Should he escape or wait for the kidnappers to return?