Wednesday, November 19, 2014

No Ebola threat in India: Health Minister

Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Wednesday assuaged fears of an Ebola outbreak in the country. He said despite the presence of an Indian national who has tested positive for the virus, there is no fear of contamination.
The 26­year old male who is currently in an isolation facility in the Delhi airport, is cured of Ebola, but will remain in isolation for the 21­day quarantine period, Mr. Nadda said. He said authorities at all ports of entry to the country have been asked to reinforce screening of arrivals to ensure there are no lapses.
“This individual too is cured of Ebola, but we decided to test him for the virus and found it in his semen. Since he can pass it through sexual contact, we have decided to quarantine him. He will be released only when his tests comes back negative. All precautions are being taken and there is no reason for panic,” an official of the Health Ministry said here on Wednesday.
The detection of the virus in the 26­year­old man, who reached here on November 10, was a result of “extra caution” shown by the government, he told reporters. “Due to its extra caution, the Health Ministry tested body fluids of the man even after his blood tested negative for Ebola. I want to say the situation is under complete control. We have similar arrangements at 24 airports across the country,” he told reporters.
The tour and medical history of passengers are being checked at airports, he said. The man will remain quarantined at a special facility at Delhi airport so long as medical reports confirm that he is completely rid of the virus.
The man was treated for Ebola in Liberia and carried a certificate from authorities there that he was cured. The Ministry had said the man was already treated for the deadly disease in the African country and carried no symptoms but tests of his semen samples were positive, prompting authorities to put him under isolation.