By Motunrayo Joel
Following the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease that has spread into Liberia and other West African countries, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, has warned “Nigerians to desist from eating bushmeat and wild birds” until the World Health Organisation declares the subcontinent Ebola virus-Free.
The Chairman of the Lagos branch of NVMA, Dr. Dapo Collins, said the disease is deadly and can kill victims within two to 14 days with symptoms ranging from severe pains, fever, diarrhoea, bleeding, swelling, reddening of the body and eventual death.
In an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Collins said, “This is a disease that has no cure neither does it have any known vaccine that can prevent its infection unlike other deadly viral diseases like polio, small pox and rabies. The Federal Government should stop pretending that Guinea, Liberia and other nations in West Africa here this disease is ravaging are away from our borders.”
Collins opined that efforts should be instituted to ward off the disease from making an incursion into Nigeria.
He advised the government to establish, without delay, a committee of public health practitioners encompassing relevant professions such as human medical personnel, veterinarians, immunologists, to monitor land borders and other points of entry.
He also called for strict contact tracking and possibly quarantine of all suspected individuals coming from inflicted nations.
“Now is the time to begin serious public awareness on the danger of the disease, and this must commence without delay in all local languages and through different media platforms,” Collins said.
He also urged veterinarians to collaborate in the fight. He added that Ebola Virus Disease is a zoonotic disease with bats and other wild animals being the primary reservoir, hence the source of the infection in humans, makes veterinarians relevant in tackling the outbreak.