Reports of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Dengi, in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State, has sent shivers down the spine of residents of the state.
Our correspondent gathered that one person was said to be down with fever, symptomatic of the disease, and triggered fear among the residents.
As a result of the scare, most residents now keep off fun spots, especially where chicken, fish and meat are roasted. This has led to poor sales by those who engaged in such businesses.
At West of Mines junction, a popular spot for roasted fish and meat delicacies, one of the proprietors who simply identified herself as Rose, told our correspondent that sales had been dwindling since the news of the outbreak of the disease. The story is the same at the popular bush meat market at old Bukuru Park.
The Plateau State Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Raymond Juryit, however, dispelled rumours of the outbreak of the disease in Plateau.
According to him, the case in Dengi has been investigated, adding that it had no relationship with Ebola disease.
He said, “Immediately, we got the rumour, we sent a team of investigators there and what they reported had nothing to do with Ebola disease.”
Juryit advised the residents not to panic, but to observe the highest degree of personal hygiene.
He said that the government was training 37 surveillance officers from the 17 Local Government Areas in the state on ways of detecting the dreaded Ebola virus.
Juryit said that the trainees were expected to train others in their respective local government areas, adding that arrangements had also been concluded to train clinical officers in its major hospitals on ways to curtail the virus.
The chief epidemiologist, however, expressed regret that the state was constrained by the ongoing strike action by medical doctors, adding that lack of testing equipments and personal protective equipment were the major challenges facing the state.
Also, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has called on the residents of the territory to be vigilant in the face of the Ebola hemorrhagic fever threat and to report any suspicious case to a health facility nearest to them. The disease, which is caused by the deadly Ebola virus, usually has an incubation period of 21 days before the onset of symptoms.