Pondy Gears Up to Handle Ebola Outbreak

Foreign nationals visiting UT advised to undergo screening at IGGH and JIPMER

Published: 13th August 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2014 05:54 AM   |  A+A-

PUDUCHERRY: All foreign nationals visiting Puducherry have been advised to get a check up done at Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute (IGGGH&PGI) and JIPMER for Ebola Viral Disease (EVD), said Health Secretary G Ragesh Chandra.

After chairing a meeting with Director Health Dr K V Raman and JIPMER doctors on Tuesday, Chandra said that within two days, the UT government would come up with a protocol for management of the disease besides creating awareness about it. Separate quarantine wards had been opened in JIPMER, which would also be opened at IGGGH&PGI. Detection was through testing of blood samples, but no such facility existed in Puducherry. It can be tested at the National Institute of Virology, Pune, and the National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi. Collection of serum and transportation for testing from suspected patients in Puducherry had been arranged, said Chandra, adding that two round-the-clock control rooms with a helpline would be opened to assist the public.

He further said that since the disease was highly infectious, protective gear costing  `10,000 each for care-givers including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and other support staff, would be procured.  With Puducherry having a good number of foreign nationals and NRIs, all foreign nationals visiting the UT had been advised to get a check-up done at IGGGH&PGI and JIPMER.

The Health Department was also making arrangements to educate the public about EVD, said Ragesh Chandra.

Effects of Ebola

Ebola virus affects humans and even animals. It is transmitted from an infected human through direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids, besides direct contact with environment contaminated with such fluids.

The virus can also be transmitted through the semen of an affected person up to seven weeks after recovery from illness. EVD is characterized by fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. It has an incubation period of 2 to 21 days.


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