Officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have said they will consider cancelling a World Cup warm-up against DR Congo later this month after the outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease in that country. DRC experienced its last outbreak in 2017 in Likati Health Zone, Bas Uele Province.
The director of the National Institute of Biological and Bacterial Research, Dr Jean Jacques Muyembe, said on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) that health experts should be able to quickly contain this outbreak because the area is so remote. Around 50 per cent of patients die, according to the WHO.
While rehydration and symptomatic treatment improve the survival rates of people infected with the virus, no treatment can eliminate the virus to date, says the WHO.
Serge Ngaleto, the director of Bikoro's main hospital said it had received four new suspected cases on Thursday, including two nurses who had treated others showing symptoms. In the past five weeks, there have been 21 suspected viral haemorrhagic fever in and around the iIkoko Iponge, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a press release. We know from previous outbreaks that the DRC are ready to act, but they need global support to ensure this outbreak is contained effectively.
Ebola has been confirmed in at least two people in the northwestern town of Bikoro.
Some symptoms include red eyes, external and internal bleeding, rash, headache, joint pains, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, and more.
The virus was first discovered there in 1976 (when the country was known as Zaire) and is named after the Ebola river.
Ebola spreads to humans from animals such as bats, monkeys etc. The disease shows early symptoms similar to other diseases like typhoid and malaria-fever, headache, muscle pain and chills-and this makes it hard to identify it in its initial phases.
The virus is handed on by contact with bodily fluids - touching a sick or dead person is a well-known source of infection.
The minister further said Nigeria will set up an emergency operation centre, adding that this would be chaired by Joshua Obasanya, who led the Nigerian team in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014.