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SCH allays fears over Ebola cases.

The Public Health Department at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) yesterday said that no case of Ebola had been reported in Qatar.

SCH said that in line with the International Health Regulations IHR 2005, it has been monitoring the global situation and the latest WHO recommendations in this regard.

SCH said the Health Protection and Communicable Disease Control (HP&CDC) department regularly alerts healthcare workers at the private and the public hospitals through educational materials and guidelines, which contain the most recent updates about the outbreak and its distinguishable features to make its detection and notification easier through the contact points.

SCH said it works in close collaboration with HMC and the airport authorities. "To deal with any potential case, the points of entry have isolation areas staffed with trained healthcare workers."

SCH has advised there is no room for any panic in Qatar because Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) occurs through direct contact with the broken skin or mucous membranes, the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions such as stool, urine, saliva and semen of infected people.

Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient's infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles.

SCH said that WHO guidelines for travellers and healthcare workers are immediately shared with the concerned authorities. The risk of a tourist becoming infected with Ebola virus during a visit to the affected areas is very low as transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons, or animals.

Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat are typical signs and symptoms of Ebola. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

The incubation period, or the time interval from infection to onset of symptoms, is from two to 21 days. The patients become contagious once they begin to show symptoms. They are not contagious during the incubation period. Ebola can only be confirmed through laboratory testing.

"Based on WHO recommendations and the available information, no restrictions to travel and trade are advised. However, in case of necessary travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, persons should seriously take preventive measures such as understanding the nature of the disease, how it is transmitted, and how to prevent it from spreading further.

"If there was a suspect case of Ebola, encourage and support the person in seeking appropriate medical treatment ."

The WHO is convening an Emergency Committee on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) under the IHR 2005 today and tomorrow. The recommendations from this meeting will further help to ensure that the needed control measures are in place to prevent the importation of the disease in any country, the SCH statement added.

Gulf Times Newspaper 2014 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Aug 5, 2014
Words:493
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