Ebola, Flu, Monkey Pox Epidemic Looms, New Vaccine May Cure Tuberculosis
· NMA seeks ban of TFAs import, production in Nigeria
Ebola, Flu, Monkey Pox Epidemic Looms, New Vaccine May Cure Tuberculosis –Scientists have raised an alarm over the possibility of Ebola, flu virus and monkey pox epidemic that could kill over 400 million people and crash economies.
Leading flu experts yesterday warned that a deadly flu pandemic like the Spanish flu could happen again and could wipe out 400 million globally.
It has been 100 years since the 1918 pandemic killed tens of millions of people and yet there is nothing stopping the flu virus becoming just as deadly again.
The flu is an unstable virus that changes from year to year and could take a major mutation for the virus to devastate the globe.
A flu expert at Nottingham Trent University, Professor Robert Dingwall, said modern medicine would be powerless to protect us in the face of a new pandemic.
During the 1918 pandemic, between 200,000 and 250,000 persons died in the United Kingdom (UK) and about 60 to 100 million globally.
For every person in Britain that died another 10 fell ill, devastating the country and crippling the economy.
Also, health experts have warned that outbreak of Ebola in Congo could ‘deteriorate rapidly’ and spread to other parts of the world.
Attacks by armed groups in the affected area, community resistance and the geographic spread of the disease threatens a ‘perfect storm’ that could see the highly contagious virus spread out of control.
Also, on Monday 80 per cent of Ebola contacts – people at risk of developing the disease who require monitoring – could not be reached.
Since the latest outbreak in Congo was reported on August 1, there have been 100 deaths – 69 confirmed from Ebola, while the rest are linked to the deadly virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said there have been 150 cases in all.
Its Head of Emergency Response, Peter Salama, told journalists in Geneva: “We are now extremely concerned that several factors may be coming together over the next weeks and months to create a potential perfect storm.”
Salama said While the weekly number of new cases has fallen from about 40 to about 10 in the past few weeks, and more than 11,700 people have been vaccinated, there were major obstacles ahead.
Meanwhile, The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has urged the Federal Government to ban importation, production and distribution of Trans Fatty Acids (TFAs) in the country or adopt a monitored restriction of not more two per cent in all available foods in Nigeria.
NMA president, Dr. Francis Faduyile who made the call at the launch of the NMA Improving Cardiovascular Health of Nigerians project in Abuja, said there are overwhelming evidences of the harmful effects of TFAs in foods and stressed the need to save Nigerians from preventable morbidity and mortality caused by the consumption of TFAs.
He expressed concern over the increasing number of clinical cases in hospitals, which are traceable to TFAs, adding that of all four main classes of Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs), cardiovascular disease takes the lead.
He commended National Agency for Food and Drug Law Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for the ongoing review of the National Policy on Fats and Oils, which was last reviewed in 2005 and urged the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to help with market surveillance.