Following the confirmation of a new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last week, several African countries have taken steps to prevent Ebola from crossing their border and Nigeria is just one of several.

Nigeria map/CIA

Ebola in DRC: Outbreak update, Help on the way and why the DRC so often?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Nigeria and other countries in the African region to be at moderate risk of spread. To prevent an outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) issued a public health advisory.

NCDC is currently coordinating a national working group that is assessing and managing the risk to Nigeria. We are in close communication with our partners including the WHO, who are in Congo to monitor and respond to the situation. The Port Health services unit has been placed on alert and have heightened screening measures at ports of entries. Letters of alert have also been sent to all States to enhance surveillance activities.

To prevent the spread of Ebola, members of the public are advised to adhere to the following precautions:

Nigeria declared Ebola free (2014)

• Wash your hands frequently using soap and water – use hand sanitizers when soap and water is not readily available

• Avoid direct handling of dead wild animals

• Avoid physical contact with anyone who has possible symptoms of an infection with an unknown diagnosis

• Make sure fruit and vegetables are properly washed and peeled before you eat them

Health care workers are advised to ensure universal care precautions at all times. This includes the use of personal protective equipment when handling patients always. In addition, patients who are suspected to have Ebola should be immediately isolated from other patients.