The Preventive Medicine Department under the Health Ministry has warned of the danger of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) which is spreading in a number of African countries.

The department advised people to ensure personal hygiene and avoid direct or close contact with infected patients and animals, particularly with their bodily fluids, in order to prevent the disease.

Those who are living in the area with an EVD outbreak should receive medical testing immediately if observing any symptom of the disease.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), EVD is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.

Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and indirect contact with environments contaminated with such fluids.

EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterised 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.

No licensed vaccine for EVD is available. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use, according to WHO.

On August 2, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) called on the international community to immediately scale up of efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak in western African countries.

As of July 27, 1,323 affected cases were reported, with 729 deaths in four western African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.-VNA