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Experts Warn Ebola Virus Could Spread Across West Africa

Channels Television  
Updated April 26, 2014

Ebola-VirusHealth experts have warned that the Ebola Virus could spread across West Africa in one of the most challenging outbreaks of the disease the international community has ever witnessed.

Scores of deaths in Guinea and in Liberia have been linked to the current outbreak of Ebola, which began in January, According to the spokesperson for the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tariq Jasarevic.

In Nigeria, health officials said seven reference disease centres were being upgraded nationwide to check any possible outbreak of the disease.

More than 100 people have been reported dead in the West African country of Guinea and Liberia, according to the WHO.

The WHO describes the Ebola outbreak as one of the most challenging incidents that the world has ever seen.

So far, Guinea has counted close to 160 suspected cases of Ebola with more than 100 deaths from the disease.

In neighbouring Liberia, there have been ten fatalities so far with 21 other infection linked to the disease.

Trying To Stop Spread

In Nigeria, a project consultant and epidemiologist at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chukwudi Ukpaka, says even though the disease does not exist in Nigeria, the upgrades of the medical facilities in seven centres would help ensure proper control in situations of outbreak.

“There is no treatment or vaccine against Eboloa. The main thing for people to do is to avoid doing things that will expose them to Ebola. People should desist from eating bats,” Dr Ukpaka said.

When the outbreak of the Ebola Virus was reported in some parts of West Africa, there were rumours that the virus was already in Nigeria. But the Minister of State for Health, Dr Khliru Alhassan, said that what people thought was Ebola was Dengue Fever.

International aid organisations are trying to stop the spread of the disease.

That the Nigerian Medical Association said the symptoms of Ebola were like those of other diseases or fever that are known to Nigerians.

The association advised Nigerians to ensure that there environments were kept clean.

The Nigerian Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, however, assured Nigerians that the government was doing its best to ensure that persons coming into Nigeria from the country reported to have had cases of the Ebola Virus were properly checked at the port of entry.

Ebola was named after a River in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first discovered in 1976.

It is spread through the exchange of blood or other bodily fluid and its symptoms are like that of other flu.