Maintain proper hygiene to prevent re occurrence of disease outbreak -NCDC

By Onyegbula Regina

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Thursday urged Nigerians to maintain adequate hygiene at all times to avoid re occurrence of disease outbreaks in Nigeria.

The Chief Executive Officer, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu made the call at a two day NCDC national media training in Abuja, noted that proper hygiene was the key to solving major disease outbreaks.

Ihekweazu explained that the training was aimed at educating the media on the five epidemic prone diseases covered by NCDC which include Meningitis, cholera, yellow fever, Lassa fever and measles.

The Assistant Director, Health Emergency, NCDC, Dr Olaolu Aderinola who stated some of the causes of meningitis as bacteria, fungi, viral and parasites stressed that it could affect anybody and all age groups.

Aderinola who noted the signs and symptoms as fever, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and sensitivity to light added that meningitis was seasonal and it occurred during the dry season like in November and December.

He observed that meningitis could be fatal therefore should always be viewed as a medical emergency as there was no first aid treatment for the disease.

The expert stressed on prevention such as personal hygiene, health education, vaccination which he said was key to the eradication of the disease

According to him, speech loss, vision loss, seizures, hearing loss, death among others are part of the complications of meningitis.

Aderinola added that in 2017 NCDC recorded 14,542 cases of meningitis with 1166 deaths while in 2018, 3100 cases was recorded with 301 deaths.

The Deputy Director, Department of Surveillance, NCDC, Mrs Else Ilori who explained Lassa fever as an acute viral hemorragic fever caused by Lassa virus pointed out that 80 per cent of people infected with Lassa fever would have no symptoms

According to her, poor environmental hygiene, poor personal hygiene, poor storage of food stuffs, inadequate awareness of Lassa fever were some of the risk factors of the disease.

Ilori who also said that Lassa virus was seasonal and occurred during the dry season stressed on preventive measures which include health education, personal hygiene, food hygiene among others.

She mentioned some of the complications of Lassa fever as hearing loss, renal failure, Anuria, shock, hypotension and hypovolemia.

The Deputy Director, Cholera Working Group Lead, NCDC, Sebastian Yennan who described Cholera as an acute enteric infection characterised by vomiting, profuse dehydration and diarrhoea said that man is the only known natural hosts of cholera.

Yennan noted that it affects all age group and it can kill between six hours to five days

He mentioned some of the risk factors as contaminated food or water, human to human transmission, corpses of infected patients among others.

In addition, he noted that it was a seasonal disease that occurred more during the raining season.