As a second case of Ebola has been reported in Nigeria, It should interest Nigerians to learn that one of the most interesting facts about the dreaded virus is that it is as fragile as it is deadly.
It can be killed easily and doesn’t spread quickly like common cold.
The virus was first discovered by one Dr. Fredrick A Murphy, a doctor of veterinary medicine in 1976.
It got its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There is enough material on the Internet about the gruesome, unpleasant symptoms of the disease and fatality statistics so there’s no need repeating those facts in this write-up.
The most important things to know about Ebola is not to panic but learn the best way to protect yourself from contracting the disease because with Ebola, prevention is definitely better than cure.
There is actually no known cure for Ebola, which is why the fatality rate is almost 100%.
Contrary to what you may have heard Ebola is not air-borne like flu so there is no reason to wear masks or respiratory aids. It spreads only through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. Bodily fluids like saliva, blood, urine, faeces or semen.
Travellers are also said not to be at risk, as patients are contagious only when they start showing symptoms. Health workers, family members or others in close contact with infected people, mourners who have direct contact with the bodies of the deceased as part of burial ceremonies and hunters in the rain forest who come into contact with dead animals found lying in the forest are the most susceptible to Ebola infection.
Another way by which the virus spreads is the improper handling of the corpse of an Ebola victim.
As long as you don’t come into contact with any of these things you are safe from contracting the virus.
One more thing, semen from a survivor of Ebola infection can remain infectious for two months, so girls, be careful!
It is also advisable to regularly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water at every available opportunity because one of the interesting things about the virus is that it can be killed with soap, detergent or disinfectant.
As a matter of fact taking a shower and thoroughly lathering your body with soap every time you return home from outside is not a bad idea.
Most commentators believe that containing the virus should not be a very difficult task as it is not air-borne and spreads only through close contact with an Ebola patient who is already showing symptoms of the disease.