Ona allays fears over Ebola spread

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

HEALTH Secretary Enrique Ona sought to allay fears on Thursday over the possible entry of the deadly Ebola virus to the Philippines.

In an interview, Ona said there is no reason for the public to worry of being afflicted with the deadly virus as the Department of Health (DOH) is already preparing adequately.

"They should not worry and just sleep well. They should avoid the rain, flood water, wear jackets, and clean their surroundings… Because I am actually more worried about dengue and leptospirosis than Ebola," said Ona.

He added that the government has already put in place the necessary measures in order to prevent the virus' entry to the country such as stricter monitoring in airports and sea ports.

The official added that they are already coordinating with the Department of Labor and Employment on how to ensure the safety of overseas Filipino workers in affected countries.

"We are doing everything to make sure it does not reach us or our people whether Filipino or foreigners," said Ona.

He, however, admitted that DOH is already "concerned" over the development in West African countries.

"I would not say worried, but we are concerned," Ona said.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been 1,201 cases of Ebola and 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone since March.

There are also fears that the situation could only get worse as long as there remains no encompassing strategy that can handle the outbreak.

Ebola Virus can be transmitted through close contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals; body fluids and stool of an infected person; objects such as contaminated needles and soiled linen used by a patient; and the body of the deceased person.

Signs and symptoms, which could appear between two to 21 days, include fever, headache, intense weakness, joint and muscle pains, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, rashes, red eyes, impaired kidney and lives, and internal and external bleeding. (HDT/Sunnex)

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