COVID-19: Use only herbs approved by NAFDAC, virologists warn


A virologist, Professor Sunday Omilabu, has said that although lots of local herbs are promising for treating COVID-19, Nigerians should still be cautious to take only local herbs and herbal products licensed by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control.

Omilabu, who works in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, made the disclosure during an online interview with members of the Health Writers’ Association of Nigeria.

According to him, it is only herbs and herbal products with NAFDAC labels that Nigerians can be sure will not be poisonous or cause organ damage.

He stated: “A number of studies have been carried out on our local herbs and have been shown to have proven efficacy against microbial infections, including virus.

”A lot has to be done by way of testing them on the virus particles under laboratory conditions to really establish that the plant extract has potent material to destroy the virus particles. But we should make sure that we limit ourselves to those that NAFDAC approves of. So, be wise while applying the local herbs.”

The medical virologist, however, warned against self-medication, especially when people suspect that they have malaria, saying that it could lead to unexpected effects.

According to him, anyone feeling unwell should go to the next hospital for proper examination, observation and test instead of resorting to self-medication.

He, however, stated that coronavirus is not a new virus, adding that the four strains of coronavirus that existed first cause mild respiratory tract infections while the last three, including COVID-19 virus, are deadlier.

Professor Omilabu however assured that individuals who survive the COVID-19 should not fear getting reinfected again because the infection had made them develop a stronger immunity.

He said, “We have not heard of reinfection of a survivor or any implication of organ damage and I don’t think there is any long-term consequence because once you survive COVID-19, you will be stronger.

“It is expected that you develop stronger immunity. Most got discharged after testing negative on two consecutive occasions and their saliva and sputum has become cleared of the virus particles and we have not had an instance of those that are reinfected.

“Once you recover, all organs are repaired too. Once a survivor recovers, he recovers fully because he develops stronger immunity to destroy the viral particles or any remnant virus; and once the viral particles are destroyed, there will be repairs and everything in the body will normalise.”

He advised Nigerians to continue to observe social distancing and hand hygiene as more effective ways to stay safe and help combat the spread of Coronavirus disease in the country.







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