Lagos - The Lagos State Government on Sunday advised the public to observe personal and environmental hygiene as part of precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of Ebola disease in the state.
Dr Jide Idris, the Commissioner for Health, gave the advice in a statement issued in Lagos.
He said the advice was necessary because of the increase in the number of cases and deaths caused by the disease in some neighbouring West African countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He listed the measures to include regular washing of hands with soap and water and avoiding close contact with people infected by the disease.
He also advised that objects used by such people should be properly disposed to reduce the risk of infection.
The commissioner said that Ebola was caused by a virus whose natural reservoir was not completely known.
He said that fruits and bats had been considered to be the natural host of the virus.
Idris said that those at the risk of easily contacting the disease were health workers and families or friends of an infected person.
He said the disease could be contacted in the course of feeding, holding and caring for victims.
"Early symptoms of Ebola include: fever, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, backache, and joint pains.
"Later symptoms include: bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and rectum, swelling of the eyes and the genitals and rashes all over the body that often contain blood.
"It could progress to coma, shock and death," he said.
Idris urged health workers to be on alert by wearing personal protective equipment, observing universal basic precautions when attending to suspected or confirmed cases of the disease.
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