Staying safe from Ebola

( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-11-06 11:19:16

Staying safe from Ebola

Where does it come from? Ebola may come from fruit bats. Fruit bats may be natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola spreads through contact with bodily fluids, blood or tissue of infected people and animals. Ebola virus is transmitted to human and other primates including chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys. Patients die of complications including multi-organ failure and septic shock. Recovery depends on clinical care and a patient’s immune response.[Photo by Lu Ping/Shanghai Star]

The deadly virus is ravaging West Africa, but as Wu Ni reports, China is taking strong measures to ensure it does not reach these shores.

Ebola, the deadly and incurable virus, is causing panic around the world after it killed nearly 5,000 people during its latest breakout in February.

Although the epidemic has mainly ravaged West Africa, in the past two months cases have been diagnosed in the United States and Spain, as doctors and nurses who traveled to Africa to care for victims brought the virus out of the continent.

No Ebola cases have yet been reported in China. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in Guangdong province are on high alert with efforts to prevent the disease.

The Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has set up special channels at international airports for passengers from West Africa to undergo initial health and temperature checks.

"The virus doesn’t spread from the infected person to other people during its incubation period," says Lu Hongzhou, a leading infectious disease expert in the city and vice president of the Shanghai Public Health Center, a designated hospital for infectious diseases.

"And if someone has symptoms, it is impossible for them to take an airplane from an infected region to Shanghai under current disease prevention and control measures," says Lu.

Shanghai has only one direct flight to Africa — an Ethiopian Airlines service between the Pudong International Airport and Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. The east African nation is far from the outbreak on the west of the continent.

During the International Marathon held in the city on Nov 2, no athletes from Ebola-impacted countries were invited.

Although authorities have not banned travel to Ebola-impacted regions, the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises citizens to avoid non-essential travel to countries that have been particularly hard-hit in the Ebola crisis, such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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