AFP: Filipino soldiers in Liberia safe

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assured the families of the 115 soldiers deployed in the United Nations (UN) mission in Liberia that they are in good condition and their safety is being closely monitored by the UN peacekeeping operation center, a military official said.

AFP public affairs chief Ramon Zagala said the troops, staying in a compound together with other soldiers from other countries, were ordered to limit their movements particularly their contact or communication with each other as well as with the people "from the outside" to avoid the spread of the

"Routine meeting with local communities should be suspended unless determined relevant to the chain of command all off duty movements are to be ceased," the military spokesperson said, noting the Department of Health (DOH) has issued an advisory to Filipino soldiers in Liberia, which is one of the countries affected by the outbreak.

He added that none of the 115 Filipino soldiers are affected by the virus.

Zagala said the Filipino troops in Liberia were also refrained from keeping fruit bats and monkeys as pets as well as eating their meat since it can also be a source of the virus.

"We would like to assure them all (families of the soldiers) that health and safety precautions are being done and led by the UN to ensure na safety and health nila (soldiers) will not be compromised," he said.

The Filipino soldiers have been in the African country since December 2013 and they are expected to finish their peacekeeping duties by September or October.

Ebola virus is an extremely contagious disease, which can be spread from close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected organism — both human and animal. There is no known available cure for the disease.

The incubation period for the virus is 2-21 days and the virus becomes contagious when the affected person already exhibits symptoms such as fever, headache, intense weakness, joint and muscle pains and sore throat.

The virus can also impair kidney and liver function and cause external and internal bleeding. (Sunnex)

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