Published On: Thu, Aug 7th, 2014

Ebola And Cholera Can Be Prevented Says Dr Zakaria

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Most Citizens of West Africa sub region are scared about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The disease has so far claimed the lives of more than 700 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. A Saudi citizen who recently visited Sierra Leone is said to have died of Ebola. Some major airlines operating within West Africa have suspended their operations for fear of Ebola.

Ebola is disease that can infect any one including doctors some of who have died from the disease. Cholera has also infected 1000 people and has claimed the lives of 20 people out of 1000 infected people in Accra. However some medical experts say we need not be scared. They believe that the diseases could be prevented through environmental and personal hygiene.

According to Dr Alhasan Zakariah of the Community Hospital at Ashongman Estates, all of us who want to escape from Ebola virus disease, need not patronize bush meat such as bats and primates whose origin are unknown; with regard to cholera we can prevent it when we embark of environmental and personal hygiene. He spoke during the launch of a sensitization program at the Center Of Languages and Professional Studies (CELPS) at Alajo Accra.

He advised the students of the center and Ghanaians generally to wash their hands especially when they visit the toilets. We should also disinfect our hands with disinfectants which are available on our markets. The doctor supports the efforts being made by government to embark on preventive method by screening people coming into Ghana from our sub region to determine whether they have symptoms of Ebola. At the same time it is also good to embark on clearing of garbage and public education to prevent people from contracting both Ebola and cholera.

To be able to deal with the epidemic of Ebola and cholera he suggested the need to know more about Ebola and cholera: he said the aim of the sensitization program is not to educate the students only but to use them to reach other people out there in towns and villages. Apart from Ebola and cholera it is the aim of the doctor to have series of programs in future on hepatitis, malaria, meningitis and typhoid fever.

To be able to deal with the epidemic of Ebola and cholera you need to know more about them and how to prevent them. Because prevention is said to be better than cure below are some ways of staying clear from the two diseases:


• Everyone must seek information on Ebola and cholera and how to prevent them

• When people get well informed about the deadly diseases they will be able to help prevent and abate Ebola and cholera in West Africa

• Because Ebola is contracted from bush meat such as bats and primates you might be safe if you stay clear from eating them especially when you don’t know where they originated from

• In eating ‘from chop bars’ and restaurants we must beware of contaminated foods and bush meats that are not properly slaughtered and that might be infected

• Cleanliness is said to be next to godliness. It is also one sure way of preventing diseases like Ebola and cholera

• We must clean our bodies and hands when we ease ourselves and before and after eating

• You should greet by shaking hands and hugging people but beware of the people you are dealing with and the sweat coming from their bodies especially in sports.

• When you feel feverish or have headache report to a health center. You may be saved before the symptoms develop

• When someone dies of Ebola do not touch him or her or wipe saliva from his mouth for you could be infected

Fact Sheet About Ebola Virus Disease EVB And Cholera

Key facts
• Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.

• EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.

• EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.

• The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

• Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.

• Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.

• Ebola virus disease has no cure nor vaccine
• According to World Health Organization WHO head Margaret Chan Ebola is spreading fast and can be catastrophic

• Though the virus has claimed 729 lives so far it can be controlled when well managed

• Ebola kills more than 90% of its victims and it is contracted through blood contaminated environment

• Initial symptoms can be hemorrhaging from eyes , gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure

• Doctors in Ghana knowing they can be infected when dealing with Ebola are afraid of it

• However WHO has promised to provide 100 million dollars to enable governments involved to fight the disease

Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage

Fatality rate can reach 90%
Incubation period is two to 21 days.
There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola
Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhea and vomiting can help recovery

Fruit bats are considered to be virus’ natural host

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

Genus Ebolavirus is 1 of 3 members of the Filoviridae family (filovirus), along with genus Marburg virus and genus Cuevavirus. Genus Ebolavirus comprises 5 distinct species:

Signs and symptoms
EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory.

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients.

Most persons infected with V. cholerae do not become ill, although the bacterium is present in their faeces for 7-14 days. When illness does occur, about 80-90% of episodes is of mild or moderate severity and are difficult to distinguish clinically from other types of acute diarrhea. Less than 20% of ill persons develop typical cholera with signs of moderate or severe dehydration.

Cholera remains a global threat and is one of the key indicators of social development. While the disease no longer poses a threat to countries with minimum standards of hygiene, it remains a challenge to countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation cannot be guaranteed. Almost every developing country faces cholera outbreaks or the threat of a cholera epidemic

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We have launched a program to sensitize citizens in schools, churches, mosques, civil society organizations, community organizations, churches on Ebola and cholera.

• Our aim is to educate people on the diseases and how to stay clear from them.

• Because we believe in preventive methods of medical care, we have lined up seasoned medical personnel including Dr Alhassan Zakaria, to undertake this program.

• All interested organizations and donors may cooperate with us to undertake this national duty. Please Contact us through the above e-mails and telephone numbers.


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