Written by Bella Dalima
17 Oct, 2014 | 9:10 pm
The UN has made an urgent appeal for aid to combat the spread of Ebola as one of the deadliest viruses known to mankind spreads its tentacles beyond Africa to Europe and America.
Is Sri Lanka prepared to face an Ebola pandemic?
The current outbreak of Ebola, the largest in history has so far been centred around four West African Nations, but has begun spreading to other countries as well. The worst affected nations have been Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with over 9,000 reported infections.
The World Health Organisation says that at present 4,493 people have lost their lives to Ebola. 2,458 of these deaths were reported from Liberiua while Sierra Leone has reported 1,183 deaths.
Guinea has reported 843 deaths. The virus has now entered America and Europe through infected medical workers and air travel.
Symptoms of Ebola are greatly varied and include headache, sore throat, muscle pain, skin rash, stomach and kidney disease, fever, nausea and body pains.
Is the health sector here prepared to face such a deadly virus?
Director of Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Paba Palihawadana explained;
[quote]When issuing visas to persons from countries where the Ebola virus is prevalent, we have made medical certificates a prerequisite. A lot of countries have on arrival visa privileges at the airport. But in these cases we will be requiring medical certificates. Before arriving in our country they must secure a medical certificate proving that they are not carriers. Measures have been taken to examine persons arriving at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Health staff are inspecting passengers as they disembark. This measure is in place especially for visitors from West African nations and Congo. The data is referred to the Divisional Medical Officers of Health who then carry out follow up inspections. Also in the event that any person displays symptoms of the disease within 21 days of arriving in the country then steps have been taken to have them immediately taken to the IDH hospital. Ambulance services have been provided at the airport and doctors too have been assigned for this purpose.[/quote]
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