On 20th July 2014, Nigeria recorded its first episode of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which led to 20 laboratory-confirmed cases and 8 deaths (NCDC, 2017). According to the WHO, this was the largest and most fatal EVD outbreak since its discovery in 1976. This was quite critical especially as Nigeria recorded a 40% fatality rate, compared to the global average of 50%. A study by Otu et al in 2017, stated that the 6 units of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) were pivotal in measuring the EVD intervention process with a total of 894 contacts identified in Lagos state.
Currently, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reports that the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Program (FELTP) have been involved in supporting and sustaining disease surveillance systems for viral haemorrhagic outbreaks like Ebola and Lassa fever. This program established in 2008 has provided capacity training to over 900 residents in 13 states and the FCT (260 LGAs in all six geo-political zones). To further strengthen our level of preparedness towards infectious diseases, NCDC (in April 2019) partnered with Robert Koch Institute to implement a 2-year capacity training project targeted at preventing and managing disease outbreaks.
As the government and several health professionals are putting in great effort to prevent further outbreaks, what are some effective ways in which we can reduce the transmission of EVD? Can you highlight some ways to protect yourself in the event of an Ebola outbreak?