Thursday, 5th March 2015

Take precautionary measures to prevent Ebola: WHO

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The officials of World Health Organisation (WHO) in Nepal have advised the public to take precautionary measures for prevention and spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Speaking at an interaction in the capital, the officials said the government and other stakeholders should work together for awareness and safety programmes on Ebola transmission and its prevention.  

One of the leading causes of Ebola outbreak and its eventual spread in some African countries was negligence. Therefore, it is essential that the public are made aware of preventive measures they can follow to help prevent the spread of the deadly disease, said officials.

They further said WHO had assisted the government to set up various check points in different entry points across the country, to screen visitors entering Nepal from the affected countries.

Medical and laboratory tests will be provided at the Bir Hospital and Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku.

Research scientist and the country director at the Centre for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN), Dr. Sameer Mani Dixit said that the government should collaborate with research institutions and non-government organizations to fight against Ebola outbreak in Nepal.

Dixit lamented on the unwillingness of the government to work with other sectors.

According to the WHO, Ebola viruses are World Health Organization Risk Group 4 Pathogens, requiring Biosafety Level 4-equivalent containment. The Lab researchers have to be properly trained in BSL-4 practices and wear proper personal protective equipment.

However, such facilities are not available in Nepal.  

Experts say, some research institutions in Nepal are equipped with BSL-2 lab facilities, which the government could utilize.

Ebola is a severe acute viral illness. The symptoms of EVD are sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. The symptoms are usually followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

According to WHO, Ebola outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

Ebola, currently without any specific treatment, first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The latter was in a village situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

According to WHO, the death toll inflicted by the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa since February reached 1,350 and infecting thousands.



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