What is EVD?
Ebola virus disease is characterized by sudden onset of fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. These are often followed by rash (reddish or peely) and bleeding tendencies (both internal and external) that may include blood spots in the eyes, blood in the vomitus, sputum, urine or stool, bleeding from the nose and other body openings.
How is it spread or transmitted?
• Ebola Virus Disease is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected or dead animals especially monkeys, antelopes, fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, porcupines etc.
• In the community, Ebola spreads through direct physical contact with body fluids like the blood, saliva, stool, vomitus, urine, sweat and other bodily fluids of infected person(s) and soiled linen used by patient(s).
• It can also be spread through using skin piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person
• The virus can also be gotten through contact with persons who have died of Ebola
• Ebola can further spread during burial ceremonies where mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased Ebola person.
How can it be prevented?
• Avoid direct contact with body fluids of a person suffering from Ebola by using protective materials like gloves, goggles, and masks
• Disinfect the beddings and clothing of an infected person with disinfectant
• Persons suspected to be suffering from Ebola should be taken to the nearest clinic or hospital immediately for proper management
• Wash your hands with soap under safe running water after handling a patient or the body of a person who has died of Ebola.
• Persons who have died from Ebola must be handled using strong protective wear and buried immediately under strict supervision by health/environmental health officers
• Avoid washing of hands from common bowl during funeral rites and other public gatherings
• Avoid contact with bush animals including bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found dead or ill in the rainforest.
• Avoid eating dead animals especially bats and monkeys
• Avoid eating bush meat
• Wear protective clothing like gloves when handling dead or sick bush animals.