Nollywood Jim Iyke trivialises Ebola virus: An expensive face mask is not enough protection




Nollywood stars and celebrities are notorious for flaunting their wealth and designer gears and like all things Nollywood, James Ikechuwu Esomugha popularly known as Jim Iyke posted a picture on Instagram of himself sitting on a green leather seat in the luxurious first class lounge of a Liberian Airport while wearing an expensive face mask, designer watch and sunglasses with the caption. ‘Not ashamed to admit this scares the Jesus outta me ‘Ebola.’ it is currently trending among bloggers and for once in a long while, the soon to be 38-year-old actor is not trending for his relationship dramas.Iyke is right to be very scared of the virus and though Ebola outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests, the virus is fast spreading to sophisticated society due to easy access between villages and cities.The death of Patrick Sawyer, a US citizen who contracted the virus while he went to Liberia for his sister’s funeral and died from the virus highlighted how easy it was for the virus to travel after he died in Lagos on his way to the US. So, it is only logical for Iyke to believe the virus might be lurking in the serene first class airport lounge and as such went on the defensive by using an expensive face mask to protect himself. However, if he had been diligent enough to investigate the virus, he would know that the virus is not airborne and as such just a face mask would not suffice while exposing other body parts.

 Human –to-human transmission of the virus is only possible by direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids. Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to seven weeks after recovery from the illness.

The Ebola virus, which holds the world in a grip of fear, has no vaccine or cure but despite the seriousness of the disease, which causes bleeding from the mouth, ears and eyes, protecting yourself from contracting it is fairly simple.

According to the centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap frequently.  When soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 per cent alcohol.

Avoid any contact with infected people especially with their bodily fluids, advises the World Health Organisation (WHO).

If you need to go near someone with the virus, use protective gear such as face masks, gloves, eye shields and full body protective clothing.  SEE MORE ON PAGE2

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