Nearly three years after Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, Federal Government has again raised red alert at all ports of entry into the country.
Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole this evening directed all healthcare providers and members of the public to be extra vigilant “and maintain a high index of suspicion by screening all fevers for Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers”.
The directive is coming on the heels of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of the outbreak of the dreaded hermorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) killing three people.
According to a statement by WHO, “a cluster of illness and deaths including haemorrhagic symptoms in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bordering Central African Republic was reported on 11 May.
“And out of the five laboratory samples tested for Ebola virus, 1 tested positive. Additional laboratory samples are currently being tested.
“Since 22 April, there have been 9 suspected cases including 3 deaths”, the statement read in part.
Consequently, minister of Health called for heightened vigilance and intensified awareness efforts on the symptoms of hemorrhagic fevers at all public institutions, homes and health facilities across the country.
Government also directed Port Health officials to step up inspection activities and to report any sick person or suspects to ensure that the State Epidemiologist in the states where there are present is immediately alerted and relevant tests conducted.
Symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to look out for include; fever, fatigue, weakness dizziness and muscle aches.
Patients with more severe cases show bleeding under the skin, internal organs or even from bodily orifices like mouth, ears, and the ears.
Nigerians are urged not to panic as the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) is on ground and equipped to secure the health of citizens.
The agency says it has for a while now, been strengthening states capacities to detect, manage and respond to hemorrhagic fevers including Lassa fever.
The Minister equally called on states to begin social mobilization and media awareness efforts vusing the TV, Radio, Print and Social Media while all state health ministries are implored to strengthen their supervision services and escalate any incident appropriately.
Nigeria experienced Ebola outbreak in July 20 2014 through a visiting Liberian Diplomat Patrick Sawyer who flew into Lagos sick and was admitted at the First Consultants Hospital, where he later died on August 6 after infecting six staff of the hospital including Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh who died on August 19.
For 93 days, Ebola ravaged in the nation killing a total of eight people. But on October 20, 2014, WHO declared the country Ebola free.