Posted: Thursday 31st July 2014 at 12:36 pm

Ebola is not an airborne disease – WHO


The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the deadly Ebola virus is not an airborne disease as many Ghanaians perceive it to be.

According to Dr. Magda Robalo, the WHO Country Representative, Ebola does not spread through coughing and sneezing but only by coming into contact with body fluids of persons suffering from the viral disease.

‘The Ebola disease is not an airborne diseaseit is a disease that takes direct contact from people to people with body fluids before you can pass it on to another person,’ Dr. Robalo stated.

           
The WHO representative was speaking Thursday July 31, in Accra, at a news conference by the government’s inter-ministerial team on the Ebola Viral Disease.

The briefing was to update the public on not only the measures taken so far but also, to indicate further steps to ensure that Ghanaians are protected from the disease.

The team which comprises the Ministers for Health, Interior, Defence, Communications and Local Government and Rural Development, is under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Health, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah.

The inter-ministerial team is responsible for the intensification of the fight against the spread of the deadly disease to Ghana. They will also supervise the work of an existing technical team made up of representatives from multiple state agencies.

            
Dr. Robalo however, stressed that one sure way people can avoid contracting the disease is constantly practising good personal hygiene.

‘We need to practise personal hygiene [regular hand washing] after visiting the washroomso that you can avoid not only Ebola disease but any other disease that can be contracted through those means’.

              
Isolation centres
The Head of the Disease Surveillance Department of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Badu Sarkodie announced plans to establish three isolated centres in Accra, Tema and Kumasi to handle patients under surveillance.

Dr. Sarkodie said the facilities have also been provided for at major health centres across the country and at the various points of entry into the country to handle persons diagnosed with the disease.

          
He advised caregivers at health centres to strictly adhere to directives to avoid contracting the virus which currently has no cure.

             
On the issue of funding, Minister of Communications, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah said government has enough funding to control the spread of the virus should it be confirmed in the country.

According to him, government is determined to scale up ongoing activities to ensure that Ghanaians are protected from the Ebola Virus.

‘We will continue to do more to ensure that we take the message to every nook and cranny of the countryWHO [World Health Organisation] has provided some assistance [technical, logistics and cash],’ Dr. Omane Boamah announced.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the human disease caused by the ebola virus. 

Symptoms typically start two days to three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, throat and muscle pains, and headaches. 

There is then typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, along with decreased functioning of the liver and kidneys. At this point, some people begin to have problems with bleeding. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | [email protected]

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