The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) has warned that infected men who have recovered from the killer Ebola virus disease (EVD) can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to seven weeks after the recovery.Source: Daily Independent
Director General of the Institute, Innocent Ujah, gave the warning on Thursday at a one-day sensitisation programme on the EVD at the Lagos State University (LASU).
Ujah, whose presentation was titled, 'Clinical features and management of Ebola virus Disease', stressed that men who have recovered from the illness should abstain from sexual intercourse till about eighth to ninth week of total recovery.
"Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to seven weeks after recovery from illness.
"Any man that has recovered from the Ebola disease should wait for eight to nine weeks after recovery before having sexual intercourse, in order not to transmit the virus to another person," he counselled.
Ujah, a gynaecologist, said NIMR was aware that the virus is coming and it has started preparing for it, adding that the institute is preparing to upgrade its facilities to take care of the disease and other deadly ones.
He reiterated that there is no definite therapy or vaccine against Ebola, noting that Nigerians have never paid sufficient attention to infectious diseases like this.
Ujah added that this is the first time Nigerians have responded to emergency.
Also, Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, whose presentation was entitled, 'EVD in the community: The myths and prevention', stated that myths refer to a lot of rumours, beliefs, perception from ordinary taboos, culture-guided understanding, sentiments and at some extreme, hard views that may not have scientific backing but being peddled around to create scare or fear with or without deliberate intentions.
According to him, examples of myths around Ebola recently include the use of salt in water to bathe for reduction of Ebola virus chances of infectiousness, the chewing of bitter cola in large quantity to prevent contagiousness of Ebola virus and the consumption of some daily quantity of condensed milk to prevent Ebola virus attack among others.
He stated that in breaking these myths, "it is good to note that Ebola virus is the cause of Ebola virus disease".
"It is when we come in contact with an infected living person or dead corpse and we have contacts with either their body fluids or secretions like blood, vomiting, stool, saliva, sweat etc that we are likely to be infected," Arigbabuwo said.
On its part, the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) has offered to support government's efforts in containing the spread of Ebola virus in Nigeria.