Expert urges awareness to prevent Ebola

KARACHI: Prof Afia Zafar, Department of Pathology, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), on Tuesday said Ebola is viral disease and can come Pakistan through travelers of Western African countries.

She expressed these views while delivering a pre-conference lecture on topic “Ebola Virus and its Challenges” in connection with the 31st International Biennial Medical Conference organized by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) held at PMA House.

Prof Afia said Ebola virus spread through bat, bat to animals and infected animals to humans. She said over 4,000 people were killed from Ebola viral disease all over the world and 8,000 people were infected from this disease so far.

She said Ebola viral disease had reached America and could turn to Pakistan through travelers, hence, precautionary measures were needed to prevent people from the disease. She said federal government had initiated precautionary measures to tackle Ebola viral disease and there was dire need of public level awareness about the disease in the country.

She explained that Ebola viral disease signs and symptoms typically start between two days and three weeks after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. She said symptoms of Ebola viral disease are similar in nature like common flu. She said there was 55 to 90 percent survival ratio if the disease is diagnosed on primary stages.

Prof Afia stressed the need to set up special isolation units at airports to deal with Ebola, all passengers to be screened on all entrance and exit points at international airports to avoid Ebola virus. She said screening of passengers coming from foreign countries, specially Western African countries, is necessary to prevent people from contracting Ebola viral disease.

She said unfortunately there was low awareness in the country about viral diseases in general public and also in medical community so the government should create awareness and education in this regard.

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