The virus is spread upon contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person. Fruit bats are believed to carry and spread the virus without the animals themselves being affected. However, once human infection occurs, the disease may spread. With the recent threat, the Nigerian government is taking preventive measures to curb the spread.
“There is an emergency management team comprising of officials of the Lagos government, the Federal Ministry of Health and other supporting partners from the World Health Organisation and United Nations Children’s Fund. And we have a subcommittee to handle contact with persons and surveillance which is key because we are tracking all the people that came into contact with the case we had,” Jide Idris, Lagos state commissioner for health, told CNBC Africa.
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There have also been suggestions for borders to be closed to prevent the spread from the neighbouring countries where the outbreak came from.
“Closing of the borders is something that should be seriously considered. That’s where the cases are coming from. We will advise [the government] to do that. If that can stop the virus coming in then we can have considerable control of the spread,” Idris added.
After the discovery of a Liberian man who came into Nigeria with the virus, the medical team that treated him is being tested to find out if they also came into contact with the virus.
To put an end to the spread there have been global cautionary announcements to take the necessary measures.
“Everybody has a role to play to be our brother’s keepers and if we see anybody developing unusual symptoms, they should report them to us. People should adopt good personal hygiene, regularly wash their hands, keep a clean environment and also listen to all the messages being provided by the government on how the disease spreads so they can do the right thing.”