The Federal Ministry of Health has advised men who were treated and discharged of the Ebola virus to avoid sexual intercourse for at least seven weeks.
Dr. Bridget Okoeguale, the Director of the Department of Public Health, gave the advice during interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.
Okoeguale said this was in line with protocols issued by the World Health Organisation.
She said: “There are many literatures 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 advice 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.”
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 diarrhoea”.
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.
She said: “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.”
She urged Nigerians not to consider the disease as a death sentence and that recent cases had shown survival rates for patients were high with early detection and treatment.