Amid increasing concerns about the deadly Ebola virus, the Ministry of Health has issued notifications to ensure that people get to know the disease better in terms of how it is infected, the risk group, its signs and symptoms and when to seek medical care, among others.
In the statement titled Frequently Asked Questions on Ebola Virus Disease, issued on Tuesday, the ministry explains the nitty-gritty of the virus which has so far killed more than 1 000 people in West Africa.
“At the moment when World Health Organisation [WHO] has not issued any international travel ban, all what is being done is to strengthen the local systems through public education and preparedness. It is important that the general public get the right information through all the appropriate media to avoid panic and fear,” says the ministry in its statement.
The illness affects humans and non-human primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees).
According to the ministry, in the current outbreak, the majority of cases in humans have occurred as a result of human to human transmission and more than 100 healthcare workers have been exposed to the virus while caring for Ebola patients.
“Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions [stool, urine, saliva, semen] of infected people,” says the statement.
Some typical signs and symptoms of infection are intense weakness, onset of fever, muscle pain, headache and sore throat which are followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.