OWWA ADVISORY: Ebola Disease Outbreak

PDOS ADVISORY No. 005/SERIES OF 2014

Due to the recent outbreak of Ebola virus infection in West African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali) claiming 900 lives in the past few weeks, please advise your OFW participants going to affected areas to practice extreme caution as the disease can spread rapidly with no specific treatment and with no vaccine available.

According to the Department of Health, the Ebola virus is transmitted through contact of contaminated blood, secretions, organs and body fluids of infected animals, body fluids and stools of infected person and objects such as contaminated needles, soiled linens used by infected patients and body of deceased person.

The virus has an incubation period of 2-21 days with signs and symptoms that are nonspecific flu-like in character such as fever, headache, intense weakness, joint and muscle pain and sore throat. Others are difficulty in swallowing, hiccups, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, impaired kidney and liver function. In bleeding phase, internal and external bleeding such as bleeding in the puncture site, mucous membranes (nose, mouth, gums, etc) and rashes. Infected person may vomit or cough out blood and pass out blood in the stools.

Suspected cases should be brought immediately to the nearest health facility.

The disease is prevented by frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact with infected person or animal or consuming raw meat. Wearing of protective gloves, mask and clothing is a must when visiting and infected patient in the hospital.

 

Source: OWWA