Travelers screened for Ebola virus

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 05 2014 08:58 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2014 04:58 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Travelers are being screened for fever at airports to stop the entry of the Ebola virus, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

However, the DOH said the disease is not known to spread via global travel.

In his Twitter account, Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag asked the public to observe sanitation and personal hygiene like regular, frequent hand washing.

The public should also not be complacent, he added.

As of April 2, a total of 127 people have been infected with the virus and 83 of them have died in Guinea in Africa.

The virus was reportedly spreading to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.

However, Tayag said it is remote for the virus to spread from Guinea to other countries.

“Now, exposure is with patients only who are mostly hospitalized,” he said.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) website, Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks: in Nzara, Sudan and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The WHO said the disease is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

“It is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding,” the WHO said.

The WHO said no vaccine and specific treatment are available for the disease.

“Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care,” the WHO said.

“Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids.”

The virus got its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is near a village where it first occurred.

The virus was introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.