Persons with temperatures exceeding 38, 39 degrees are Ebola suspects
Posted on: 2014-Aug-06        
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Medical Director at the Airport Clinic, Nana Dr. Akrugu has hinted that persons with temperatures exceeding 38 and 39 degrees celsius are possible suspects of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

Dr. Akrugu indicated that on their part, the Port’s hospital staffs use laser thermometers to read the temperatures of passengers at the arrival hall of the KIA.

Port health authorities have increased screening measures at the Kotoka International Airport.

“Any person with the temperature above 38 and 39 is considered a suspect” and therefore, they are brought aside to go through rigorous screening exercise.

Speaking to Joy News’ Francis Abban Wednesday, Dr. Akrugu said the clinic was expecting a thermal scanner, which should make the work easier because it is a little far away from the patient and more convenient.

He added that the preparedness level at the KIA was very high.

According to him, since the process is on-going, it would be very difficult for a professional to say whether the country is safe or not, noting, no case has passed through the KIA.

Dr. Akrugu also assured that staff at the clinic would not run away from Ebola patients if there should be a reported case because they are fully equipped.

There have now been at least 1,711 cases of Ebola this year, which has no proven vaccine or treatment, according to new figures released Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

More than 932 people have died in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria as of August 4.

The EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. All of these ailments could abnormally increase a person’s temperature.

This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

“People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. Ebola virus was isolated from semen, 61 days after onset of illness in a man who was infected in a laboratory,” according to the WHO.

National Health Regulation Focal Person at the Ghana Health Service, Michael Adjabeng also told Joy News there have been intensified measures in Tamale and Kumasi regarding the virus.

It is aimed at identifying persons who are not immediately noted for carrying the virus but leaving in confined areas.
He added that the level of preparedness at those local airports would not be as that of the KIA.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said the recorded case in Nigeria has called for a national emergency.

Lagos has eight suspected cases of Ebola, all in people who came into contact with Nigeria's first victim, Patrick Sawyer, who died last month.

The experience in Nigeria, he admitted, has alerted the world especially when airplanes are the most preferred means to reach other parts of the world.

“It just takes one individual with the disease to travel by air to even the remotest part of the world to begin an outbreak in that place. Nigeria does not obviously have any border sharing with any of those three countries but we started having the case through travel by air,” the Health Minister clarified.

He added: “It takes one individual to begin an outbreak in the world. Everyone in the world is at risk. Nobody is immune.”

A Saudi man suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus passed away at 8:45am on Wednesday at a specialised hospital in Jeddah, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

Head of Virology Department at the University of Ghana, Dr. Kwamena Sagoe Tuesday expressed confidence that the experimental drug, ZMapp would be a potential cure for the deadly Ebola virus. “I am confident that it could be a cure,” he said.

“We’ve learnt lessons from HIV. The fact is the virus has a particular way of growing. So once, you can identify how it grows and once you can identify which of the steps are very specific and unique to the virus; you can actually design things to prevent those steps from occurring. Once you do that, you can successfully truncate the growth of the virus,” Dr. Sagoe explained.

The drug, according to him, is designed to prevent the virus from growing and spreading further to other parts of the human body.

Two Americans were infected with the virus and nearing death. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol had their conditions significantly improved after receiving the ZMapp medication.

ZMapp was developed by the biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., based in San Diego in the United States.

The CNN reported that Brantly was able to walk into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after being evacuated to the United States last week and Writebol is expected to arrive in Atlanta on Tuesday.

On July 22, Brantly woke up feeling feverish. Fearing the worst, Brantly immediately isolated himself. Writebol's symptoms started three days later. A rapid field blood test confirmed the infection in both of them after they had become ill with fever, vomiting and diarrhea.