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Strengthen infection control against Ebola, WHO tells India

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 22 : India needs to further strengthen its infection control mechanism and surveillance to prevent an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) like the current one in western Africa, the World Health Organization Friday said.

At a technical briefing here on the disease and how to prevent it, WHO said that in affected countries it does not advise families or communities to care at their homes for individuals who have symptoms of EVD.

Rather, they should seek treatment in a hospital or treatment centre staffed by doctors and nurses qualified and equipped to treat EVD, the WHO said.

The list of affected countries is currently limited to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, they added.

Asheena Khalakdina, Team Leader, Communicable Diseases, WHO Country office for India said further strengthening of infection control, practising special surveillance and better communication would be important for which the government plans to hold special training on EVD for medical personnel in various states of the country over the next one month.

People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. For this reason, Ebola-infected patients receive close monitoring from medical professionals and undergo laboratory tests to ensure the virus is no longer circulating in their systems before they return home, she said.

The WHO informed that during an outbreak, those at a higher risk of infection are health workers, family members or others in close contact with infected people and mourners who have direct contact with the bodies of the deceased as part of burial ceremonies.

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