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Karnataka steps up watch for Ebola



Bangalore: To prevent the entry of deadly Ebola virus into the state, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry in Karnataka has begun screening passengers at Mangalore and Bangalore international airports from yesterday. The minister appealed to the people who are travelling to African countries to postpone their plans till the threat of Ebola virus subsides.

U. T. Khader, Karnataka health and family welfare minister, said that it is the duty of the each state government to take appropriate measures and that he would write to his counterparts in Kerala, Maharashtra and New Delhi to start similar screening process at the international airports in their states. He said that the government will not ignore the safety of the doctors and experts who will be present at the airports to screen the passengers.

He said that the federal government has been asked to ensure detailed screening of passengers arriving from these countries in New Delhi and Mumbai. None of the passengers are arriving directly in Bangalore or Mangalore. In addition, Airports Authority of India has been asked to provide a list of passengers from these countries who are travelling on domestic flights to Bangalore or Mangalore.

How virus spreads
The virus spreads through blood, sweat, semen, vomit, urine and saliva. The symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhoea, stomach ache, joint pain and bleeding.

If any such symptoms are found, passengers can get tested at special examination counters and if required, they will be admitted to Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, where 15 beds have been reserved for such patients. To confirm the infection, the blood samples will be sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune.

Khader also said the state has decided to make the treatment of haemophilia a budgeted programme. It will be implemented through Haematology Department of the Bangalore Medical College.

The department will implement an online system to provide treatment to the disease in all medical colleges of the state. Indira Gandhi Child Labour Centre in Bangalore will take charge of providing treatment for the patients aged below 18 years. The WHO has declared the killer epidemic ravaging parts of west Africa an international health emergency.

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