The Ministry of Health in Malawi says it has put in place a number of strategies to prevent the occurrence of deadly Ebola virus and also its spread should be reported in the country.
This follows reported Ebola Virus Outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, killing over 600 people in west Africa.
The Ministry said in a statement that it has a robust Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response programme that provides on strategies to manage outbreaks such as Ebola and other notifiable diseases.
“At present, all our boarder entry points that are managed by our port health officers are on alert and the personnel are currently undergoing briefing sessions to understand the nature of the disease and be able to physically screen anyone who may show signs and symptoms of Ebola,” reads the statement in part.
The statement further say government is also aware of the threat that globalization may pose to Malawi because people travel freely and fast from all over the world.
According to WHO, the risk of travelers contracting Ebola is considered low because it requires direct contact with bodily fluids or secretions such as urine, blood, sweat or saliva.
Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ebola is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus.
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days.
At present, no licensed vaccine for Ebola is available. Severely ill patients therefore require intensive supportive care.
Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing essential salts (electrolytes) or intravenous fluids.
“The Ministry of Health is assuring the general public not to panic because it is doing everything possible to prevent any Ebola outbreak that may arise from the visits to these countries but also visitors from the affected countries.” .