When will Ebola come to India?

Microscopic view of the Ebola VirusIn the recent days, we have read news about the second case of Ebola in the U.S., a case in Spain, and a rapid increase in the number of cases in the epicentre of the epidemic, in Western Africa. India remains at a serious risk for Ebola transmission, and given the circumstances, there are a few reasons why this is likely to happen sooner than later.

Travellers from West Africa are now being screened in India, using thermal scanners and thermometers for identifying fever and other signs of illness at the international airport in Delhi and in other cities. However, many countries including Britain are not doing this, since it is not clear how effective the process will be. We need to remember that the incubation period of Ebola can be as long as 3-4 weeks, so a completely asymptomatic person coming from an affected country may develop symptoms days after being screened at the airport.

A microbiologist from Belgium, Peter Piot, who was involved in the original identification of Ebola in the mid-1970s, is worried about the impact on India. This is because, as per his assertions, protective gloves are often not worn by doctors and nurses – a practice which could quickly lead to infection across multiple patients.

Another important reason for the pessimism is that there are only two facilities in India that have the capability to ...

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This entry was posted in Infectious Disease, Primary Care and tagged . Volume: .

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