The Nigerian president has declared a state of emergency in the country over the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
On Friday, President Goodluck Jonathan “declared the control and containment of the Ebola virus in Nigeria a national emergency,” the president’s office said in a statement.
Jonathan urged people to avoid large gatherings to prevent the spread of the disease that has claimed two lives in the African country.
“Religious and political groups, spiritual healing centers, families, associations and other bodies should… discourage gatherings and activities that may unwittingly promote close contact with infected persons or place others at risk.”
The president has also ordered a number of measures, including the establishment of new isolation wards, screening at borders and contact tracing.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola has killed nearly 1,000 people and infected over 1,770 people in West Africa this year.
There is currently no known cure for Ebola, a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding.
The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces or sweat. It can also be spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.
Ebola was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 in an outbreak that killed 280 people.
It remains one of the world’s most virulent diseases, which kills between 25 to 90 percent of those who fall sick.
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