Monday, 8 October 2018

Rainy Season: Health Experts Canvass Prevention To Control Spread Of Viral Infections


Chioma Umeha

Some health experts have warned the public to prevent themselves from viral infections attributed to the rainy season by clearing the bushes around them and keeping their surroundings hygienic.
They also advised them to always discard pools of water in their environments usually caused by downpour to prevent such from breeding germs and bacteria.
They said that such unhygienic environments were perfect breeding grounds for germs and bacteria that could cause infections on human beings.
The experts said, “Prevention is the best strategy for controlling these infections, especially in children.’’
They told the News Agency on Friday in Lagos that prevention would stop the virus from breeding, spreading and causing severe clinical manifestations among the public.
Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, a medical researcher at the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR),Yaba, Lagos, said: “The common preventive measures against viral infections in children include good hygiene.
“This should be through personal hygiene, as well as cleaning of personal, household and environmental areas.
“Vaccination, good nutrition, contact prevention and vitamin A supplementation are also preventive measures against the spread of infections in children, at all times.
“Parents and guardians should note that children with febrile and other viral symptoms such as cough, rash, running nose and nasal congestion should not go to school, but stay home until these symptoms disappear.
“These measures will further minimise the spread of the viruses they harbour,” he said.
Iwalokun also highlighted the symptoms of some of these infections.
He said: “ They include fever, running nose, sore throat, wheezing, mouth sore, rash of different kinds, cough, conjunctivitis, headache, irritability, stiff neck, seizures and coma.
“The viruses responsible for these symptoms are numerous and they include herpes simplex virus, coronavirus, enteroviruses, enterovirus, polio virus, measles virus, rotavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus and influenza virus.
“They use multiple routes to spread; they can spread through contaminated food and water, secretions, air droplets and faecal-oral routes,’’ Iwalokun said.
Also, Dr Oluwatosin Olowojebutu, the Medical Director, Liberty-Life Hospital, Ogudu in Lagos State, told the news agency that most viral infections had no cure.
He advised the public to prevent contacting them.
He said that a good number of the infections in children were highly contagious and they could spread easily in impoverished, crowded households and communities.
“Most times, infections cause outbreaks and lead to death.
“Some children are still alive but living with disabilities such as polio, blindness, deaf and intellectual disabilities due to infections that are not treated, poorly treated or defied treatment.
“Most symptoms of viral infections are non-specific and are shared by bacteria infections; also, majority of the viruses are poorly diagnosed and treated,’’ Olowojebutu said.
Olowojebutu advised parents, guardians and pregnant women to always get necessary vaccines for their children to prevent them from contacting viral infections.


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