The current Ebola outbreak is centered on four countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, although there is the potential for further spread to neighbouring African countries.
Ebola poses a significant risk to the global public. The international community and local authorities are deploying resources to help bring the outbreak under control.
What is Ebola?
Ebola virus is the cause of a viral haemorrhagic fever disease.
Symptoms include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding.
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common.
How is Ebola transmitted?
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
Can Ebola be transmitted through the air?
No. Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air.
Can I get Ebola from contaminated food or water?
No. Ebola is not a food-borne illness. It is not a water-borne illness.
Can I get Ebola from a person who is infected but doesn’t have any symptoms?
No. Individuals who are not symptomatic are not contagious. In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with an individual who is experiencing symptoms.
What is being done to prevent ill passengers in West Africa from getting on a plane?
Regulating agencies are assisting with active screening and education efforts on the ground in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes.
In addition, airports in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are screening all outbound passengers for Ebola symptoms, including fever, and passengers are required to respond to a healthcare questionnaire.
What is Government doing about this?
Government authorities have protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease. These include notification of ill passengers on a plane before arrival, investigation of ill travelers, and, if necessary, isolation.
Government has also provided guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew and for disinfecting aircraft and have issued a Health Alert Notice reminding healthcare workers of the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of this virus, how to test and isolate suspected patients and how they can protect themselves from infection.
What can YOU do?
Observe personal hygiene and minimize unnecessary contact with people and body fluids. Report any one with symptoms suggestive of Ebola. Spread this information and not the virus.
Together, we shall stop Ebola!!!
For more information, please contact: http://health.gov.ng/index.php/resources/ebola-virus-information
NB: Some of the above information was adapted from the US CDC statement circulated by the Department of State: http://www.whitehouse.gov//blog/2014/08/01/questions-and-answers-ebola