The Director of Primary Healthcare in the Anambra Ministry of Health, Dr Chukwudi Okoye, has called on the people to be conscious of the outbreak of ebola disease in some African countries. Okoye said that the state and Nigeria were so far safe from the disease but needed to be watchful. He noted that the state government was sensitive to the disease because Onitsha Main Market attracted businessmen and women from all parts of the continent. The director said that Onitsha, the largest market in sub-Sahara region, attracted loads of foreigners. He explained that over 4000 vehicles conveyed goods and passengers from within and outside the country to Onitsha daily for businesses.
For this reason, it had become imperative to sensitise the people on the disease which has no cure, urging them to be careful about their eating habits. Okoye listed the symptoms of the disease to include headache, fever, intense weakness, sore throat and rashes. He said they also included vomiting, muscle pain, joint pain, conjunctivitis, internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, bleeding gums, bleeding into the skin, and blood in urine, among others. He said the viral hemorrhagic disease was transmitted from monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees and also could be contracted through body fluids such as blood and secretions.
According to him, most ebola infections had occurred in hospital with poor practice of basic hygiene and sanitation. He, however, said that the disease could be prevented by maintaining proper hand washing habit and proper disposal of wastes. He noted that the virus could also be prevented by reducing the number of invasive procedures, adding that clinicians should wear personal protective clothing at work. He said that dead bodies of victims were still infectious and so must be safely and immediately disposed of, adding that people should avoid eating bats and other bush meats.