HEALTH MINISTRY URGES EBOLA SURVIVORS TO ABSTAIN FROM SEX

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The Federal Ministry of Health has urged men who were treated and discharged of Ebola virus to abstain from sexual intercourse for a minimum of seven weeks.

The Director, Department of Public Health, Dr Bridget Okoeguale gave the advice today in Abuja.

She said the sexual restrain of male Ebola survivors was in line with protocols issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as semen of a male, who is treated and cured of Ebola virus infection, remains a body fluid from which Ebola virus disease may be contracted.

Her word: “There are many literature that say that after men are infected, when the virus is not found in the blood, it tends to stay in the semen for about seven weeks to three months.

“What we did according to the WHO protocol is that we made sure that when the men are discharged they are given enough condoms, if they cannot abstain for that period.

“We advise them to abstain from sex but where they cannot abstain, they are provided condoms and after the (abstinence) period, we double test to make sure they are free’’, she said.

On the treatment of Ebola patients, Okoeguale said no drugs or vaccinations were given to them, adding that health authorities had complied with WHO treatment protocol.

Okoeguale said everybody had his/her own body reaction, “so our own is to help build their immunity, give them fluid to replace lost fluid through vomiting and diarrhea.’’

She explained that the patients were also placed on electrolyte by intravenous fluid to avoid dehydration, adding that those who were anaemic had blood transfusion.

“That is the supportive care that has helped us to be able to discharge more than five people’’, Okoeguale said.

The director also advised the general public to avoid crowded social gathering.

“ We are not advising people not to go to club or bar but if you have to just remember that you must keep your hands clean, avoid contact with as many people as possible.’’

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