“Possibility of Ebola spreading to India is low”

August 11, 2014 12:00 am | Updated 05:45 am IST - CHENNAI:

In the wake of the admission of a 25-year-old man, who returned from Guinea in Africa on Saturday, to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital here and his discharge on Sunday afternoon after blood samples were drawn and sent for tests to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, the Directorate of Public Health has informed the regional health officials in Theni to place the man under observation.

“He will be monitored to find out if he gets fever, which is the first symptom of infection,” said Director of Public Health K. Kolandaisami. The National Centre for Disease Control has listed on its website the protocols to be followed in case a person is infected with the virus. Dr. Kolandaisami said there was no need to panic as the possibility of the viral infection spreading to India is low. Travellers from the infected African countries are already filtered elsewhere before they arrive.

One of the reasons for the spread of the infection in a few African countries is the prevailing civil strife and low spending on public health. “We are fully prepared and have the precautionary measures in place to tackle the virus,” he said.

A person who has the symptoms such as fever, headache, joint and muscle ache, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach ache, lack of appetite, abnormal bleeding, is said to be infected. These symptoms may appear within two to 21 days (usually from 8 to 10 days) after exposure to the virus. During the period of incubation, a person cannot transmit the infection.

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