Experts in Pune chalk out strategy to counter Ebola threat

NIV, AFMC experts to meet on August 19; PMC has kept five cubicles and ten beds ready for patients in isolation ward at Naidu Hospital.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Updated: August 12, 2014 2:52:49 am
This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope. (Source: AP photo) This undated photo made available by the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, shows the Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope. (Source: AP photo)

The National Institute of Virology (NIV) and the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) will collaborate on strategies to counter the Ebola threat that has resurfaced in the African continent.

A meeting will be held on August 19.

Maj Gen Velu Nair, dean, AFMC, told Newsline that people are putting forth many queries about the Ebola virus. There are Indians living in the African continent, including Indian soldiers in UN peacekeeping missions. Experts from the country in the medical teams are ensuring preventive care, Brig A K Sahni, Head of the Department of Microbiology at AFMC said.

Dr Atanu Basu, deputy director of NIV, said that so far, no samples have been sent to the virology institute and “as part of preparedness, we are working with colleagues from various departments and institutes to develop a clinical management interface.”

The state health department will be involved for any emergency response.

Brig Sahni, giving details about the disease, said that there is the patient shows influenza-like symptoms, enlarged lymph nodes, nausea.
A rash develops after seven days on the face, buttocks, trunk or arms and later over the body. “Patients either recover or progress to the second phase that includes bleeding from gums, hearing loss, sudden blindness and others. Secondary infections are common and death occurs in 8 to 16 days after infection from shock after multi-organ failure.”

People transiting the affected nations and arriving in India would be watched for any symptoms of the virus. The state has deployed ambulances at the Mumbai international airport to shift passengers showing any symptoms. Two ambulances of the state emergency medical service have been stationed at the airport following directives from the Centre’s international health division of the Directorate General of Health Services to the Airport Health Officer for vigilance.

Dr S T Pardeshi, acting medical chief of Pune Municipal Corporation, said surveillance will be strengthened. There are five cubicles and ten beds for patients in the isolation ward at Naidu Hospital.


Back from Nigeria, man in Mumbai shows symptoms, quarantined at home

A man in Vasai, Mumbai, who has recently returned from Nigeria, was quarantined at home after he complained of abdominal pain. “He was admitted to KEM hospital in Mumbai after he returned on July 28 but was asked to stay at his home in Vasai, after his condition improved,”

Sujata Soumik, Principal Secretary, Health, told Newsline.

Nigeria and some west African nations have reported Ebola virus.

The Maharashtra state health department has asked the Union Ministry of Health to spell out guidelines to counter Ebola. “We have only issued guidelines for screening passengers at airports so far. There is a level of preparedness as we have dealt with the swine flu outbreak and others. However, we need more details like protection of health workers who require a complete body suit, isolation wards and such,” Soumik said.

The disease has an incubation period of 2 to 21 days. Vasai resident has already spent 15 days in India and has reportedly not complained of fever yet. His family had returned from Nigeria in April.

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