Yes…it’s no secret – if you’ve been following the world news over the last couple of days you’d have heard that there’s a JJC VJC (Virus Just Come) in Naija causing quite a stir. Don’t worry about little ol’ me though, my federal government is assuring citizens that they’ve got everything under control. Oh wait! Just got an SMS from 38296 (Airtel’s headline news number) – ‘The Nigerian President declares state of emergency over Ebola’. Huh?! Yet I was able to miraculously drive freely from Ikeja to the island today! *Deactivates dodgy sms news service* Now where was I…Ebola is trending not just on twitter but on the lips of many concerned citizens. The two questions most Nigerians desperately want answered now are:
- How to prevent an Ebola infection?
- Is there a cure for Ebola?
As far as prevention goes I’ve noticed quite a few colleagues in the office sporting their pocket-size sanitizers and judiciously applying them like a well-rehearsed voodoo ritual (I’m talking hands and face). But I can excuse this 4-year-old girl I witnessed last weekend applying sanitizer not just on her hands but on the full length of her arms – bless her innocent heart. It goes without saying that even though hand sanitizer purchases would be on the rise so also will their prices. But consumers better be wary of the quacks out there.
These days Nigerians aren’t as keen to shake hands unnecessarily with the proverbial ‘How far?’ greeting (a way of asking what one is up to and also a way of acknowledging that you know that person). With the Ebola scare fresh in citizens’ minds don’t be surprised if Nigerians refuse to shake hands outright…perhaps substituting hand shakes for peace signs or ‘chopping knuckle’ (a greeting involving two opposite fists where both party’s give each other a gentle knuckle sandwich…knuckle to knuckle). But even the chopping knuckle greeting is being done from a distance for obvious reasons. The next time you utter the words ‘fever’ or ‘headache’ (a few early symptoms of Ebola infection) people around you may start giving you weird looks, with some even doing the Moonwalk…
Some Nigerians have taken their health into their hands by taking advice from non-medical experts who prescribe consuming kola nuts as a way of preventing Ebola infection. Some have also recommended bathing in salt water and even consume salt and sugar solution to arm one’s immune system. Sadly none of these preventative measures is founded and should not be adopted. The gullibility of some Nigerians have no bounds as I read a report about 20 people hospitalized after heavy salt consumption. Not everything broadcast in social media is gospel truth. Dare I say it but these unfortunate patients should have taken the broadcast with a pinch of ________ (I’ll let you fill in the blanks). But there are exceptions where you can never have too much salt *wink at Angelina pic*
With two Nigerians dead from the Ebola virus it’s quite likely that some extreme measures may begin to surface in the coming weeks. There is no known cure readily available so I envisage people will try to be as hygienic as possible, stay off the Suya and bush meats from unknown sources, eat fruits but not fruit bats (thought to be the likely reservoir for the deadly virus).and maybe just maybe we might all have to buy the Ebola suit! But this is an appeal to anyone reading this – please do not be a fear-monger and desist from broadcasting false facts because someone might just act on your advice and get hurt in the process. This has been a Crazy Nigerian production. Snap! Time for my ritual *grabs hand-sanitizer*
NOTE: EBOLA IS NOT AIRBORNE.
“To prevent ebola(and many other infections), wash ur hands with soap, NOT SALT; avoid bushmeat/suya and bats;disinfect ur surrounding. Fumigate if u hv pest, brace urselves with correct info about the virus and its symptoms;AVOID CONTACT WITH INFECTED PERSONS AND CORPSE. Ebola is a viral infection that is transmitted thru body fluids, including sweat, which is basically salty. Salt water only have effect on bacteria. Pls, avoid giving salt water to hypertensives, diabetics, dehydrated and children too. The BCs are lies, preying on people’s fears. Pls be careful and keep praying that its antidote be found soon. Re-BC
Pls for more info & directive on Ebola Hemorrhagic fever pls visit. ebolaalert.org. Its a federal ministry of health initiative.”