Hyderabad:The air passengers with a travel history to African nations are being screened thoroughly at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here in the wake of heightened threat arising out of the deadly of Ebola virus disease (EVD). The screening procedure was initiated at the airport following a directive from the Union Health Ministry to take safety measures to prevent the spread of this virus from international flyers.
“Our doctors are monitoring the situation round-the-clock and if any symptoms are seen, people are sent for medical check. Continuous announcements are made urging people to get checked if they are having headache, sore throat, fever and intense weakness. These symptoms are the early stages of Ebola,” an RGIA official said. “The first thing we check is the travel history of passengers and then do a medical check-up. Mumbai and Delhi are at a higher risk as direct flights land there,” the official said. The EVD outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent and occur mainly in remote tropical rainforest areas of central and West Africa. The current outbreak began in Guinea and is the most severe in recorded history. As of August 4, a suspected 1,603 cases with 887 deaths have been reported by the World Health Organization.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 with two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and Democratic republic of Congo. Senior regional director, Health and Family Welfare Dr Jupaka Mahesh said, “Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans. Today, there is no cure for this disease. We can only prevent it from spreading. At the airport, we are mainly trying to check patient history and see to that people coming from African countries are not affected by it.” “People coming from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia who have the symptoms of EVD are isolated and diagnosis is done to clarify if they have the symptoms of EVD. I urge people not to come in contact with a dead body with a case of Ebola without the protection of cloth, mask,
gloves and protective shoes. Though the screening process started a few days ago, no passenger has tested positive for this virus till now,” he said.