Nigeria issues Ebola alert to airlines

LAGOS, Aug. 14 (Xinhua/GNA) – The Nigerian
aviation authority has directed all airlines operating regional and
international flights to exercise a high level of vigilance to prevent the
incursion of Ebola virus into the country.

Sam Adurogboye, spokesperson for the
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), confirmed the directive in a
statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos, the country’s economic hub.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has
declared the Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of international concern,
following the resurgence of the Ebola disease in Democratic Republic of the
Congo.

This was in line with international health
regulations, it said.

Adurogboye said the directive had since been
sent to all airline operators, adding that the airlines were to refresh the
knowledge of their crew members for improved and sustained proficiency in
handling and communication with air traffic control of any suspected case of
communicable disease on board.

He said that in case of death to a patient,
operating airlines should endeavor to contact port health services for
clearance before importing human remains into the country.

Adurogboye added that airlines were to
report to NCAA any suspected case of communicable disease on board any flight.

During an Ebola outbreak in Nigeria in 2014,
several people were killed after a Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, flew into
the country from Liberia to Lagos where the infection spread.

The virus is transmitted by direct contact
with the blood, secretions, other bodily fluids or organs of infected persons
or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, and antelopes, and it has an
incubation period of two to 21 days.

Sufferers can experience fever, intense
weakness, muscle pain, headaches, and a sore throat, as well as vomiting,
diarrhea, rashes and impaired kidney and liver function. In the most severe
cases, the virus leads to both external and internal bleeding.

GNA

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