ebola paperEbola fever is highly contagious and has a high death rate, about nine out of ten persons affected die if untreated. It comes into the human population through contact with the blood, secretions, meat and other body fluids of infected animals. It can also happen when animals with the disease (dead or alive) are handled by human beings. These animals include chimpanzee, gorillas, monkeys, fruit bats and antelopes.

Once it enters the human population, it then spreads from person to person through contact with the blood, saliva, nasal discharge, sweat, urine, tears and semen of the infected persons. Even poor handling of bodies of persons who died from the disease also help in the spread.

Being present in certain locations can increase the chance of getting infected.  Some of these locations are listed below.

ebola in hosp1. Hospitals

Several germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites) abound in a hospital environment. Consequently several infections could be contracted by hospital workers, those on admission

and those who come to visit a hospital. There is a name for this type of infection.

Being highly contagious, Ebola virus infection can easily be contracted by those who frequent hospital. Apart from instruments if poorly sterilized, other sources include hands of health workers, toilets, door handles, beddings and hospital furniture-bed railings, bed-side lockers, over-bed tables etc.

Persons are advised to thoroughly wash their hands from elbow to finger tips with soap and water after a visit to a hospital.

ebola in transport2. Public Transport System

By public transport, we are talking of buses, rail, planes, and taxis. Sick people do travel around until they are unable to move freely. Crowded buses, taxis and rail couches are fertile grounds for Ebola transmission:–people sneeze and sweat a lot during these journeys. Even in air travel, transmission can occur; hence some airlines in Nigeria now spray the interior of the plane with germicide before take-off.

ebola in schools3. Schools

One of the fertile grounds for transmission is a school; even with 35 pupils in a class, infection is very possible. Children are susceptible to little wounds in school and for fear of treatment may not tell the parents or teacher.  Besides they sweat a lot from playing and have very poor hand hygiene. Consequently if just one child contracts Ebola, several children will come down with it.

No wonder states in Nigeria have been advised to delay resumption. Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone have closed their schools for the time being.

ebola in banks4. Banks

Banking transactions entail placing hands on counters; if these were previously used by someone with the disease (Ebola) and were not sanitized, the next user may contract the

Banks are advised to regularly clean their counters with sanitizer.

ebola in church5. Religious Houses

Ebola infection can easily be contracted in churches and mosques; there is a lot of handshakes, hand-holding, embrace and cheek to cheek greeting. Some churches have banned the mandatory hand shake during service for now, others have asked those from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to remain in their countries until further notice, no pilgrimage, no convention; this is highly commendable.

But we still have the problem of some fanatics who believe they are covered by the blood of Jesus and so cannot be infected even if they shook hands with an infected person. My position is that they should not drag the name of Jesus into this, God helps those who help themselves.

We should follow the above instructions by religious houses; besides once we get home from worship we should wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a sanitizer once we exit the house of worship; one sanitizer should always be in the bag or car.

ebola in party6. Social Gatherings

Social gatherings include marriages, birthdays, burials, meetings, any other type of party and political rallies, jamboree etc. These are all fertile grounds for contracting Ebola fever. They should be avoided as much as possible for now. If you must attend, carry your sanitizer, do not be ashamed to use it when necessary and once you get home wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You could bring death to yourself and your family if you do not.

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