Experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has highly valued Vietnam’s efforts in preventing Ebola virus from entering the country and affirmed that the country is at low risk of an outbreak of the virus.

At a press briefing to update the development of Ebola virus in Hanoi on August 12, WHO experts said their organisation will join hands with Vietnam to contain the epidemic, which is spreading in a number of African countries.

According Tran Dac Phu, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, Vietnam and other Asian countries have not yet recorded any Ebola-infected cases so far.

As of August 12, 1,848 Ebola cases were recorded, with the death toll rising to 1,013, mostly in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The countries have seen increasing numbers of infected cases and deaths.

In an effort to prevent the disease, the Vietnamese government has directed the Ministry of Health and relevant ministries and sectors to outline specific action plans to deal with the virus if it hits Vietnam.

The ministry has requested all relevant agencies and provincial People’s Committees to strengthen supervision in communities, especially at border gates, in order to quickly detect and isolate people suspected of having the virus or having had contact with it.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communications and people’s committees of provinces and cities must join the Health Ministry in guiding the mass media to swiftly popularise information relating to the virus to the public as well as provide advice on how to protect them from the disease.
Training courses will also be organised to teach medical staff how to quickly respond to the disease if it hits Vietnam.

From August 15, the Ministry will ask people from West African countries hit by the Ebola outbreak to sign a medical declaration before entering Vietnam.

In the coming time, Vietnam’s health sector will work closely with the WHO, international organisations and relevant countries to keep close watch on the disease, while enhancing sanitation work at hospitals and prepare medicine and equipment.

According to WHO, Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.

It 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.

The disease 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.

On August 8, the WHO declared a state of international emergency over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and reported 961 deaths of the disease.-VNA