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Kerala to step up Ebola screening

Kerala to step up Ebola screening

Thiruvananthapuram: As the Ebola epidemic, which has claimed more than 4000 lives globally, causes concern, Kerala has stepped up screening at airports and examined over 450 passengers who arrived from various African countries.

A top health department official said no one has tested positive for the deadly virus that has claimed large number of lives in Africa and in some other parts of the world.

Besides airports, the screening will soon be extended to sea ports also to check possible threat of its spread in the state, State Health Secretary K Elangovan said.

"No Ebola positive case has been reported so far in the state. We have already taken strict measures to monitor the situation and stepped up screening at the airports. We are now mulling extending similar checks at seaports also," he told PTI.

Of the total 469 persons screened, blood samples of two, who had fever, were collected and sent for analysis which tested negative, he said.

"If any suspected case comes across during screening, we will keep them on observation. Generally, the observation will be extended from two to 21 days. Junior health inspectors are assigned to keep frequent contacts with them and continuously monitor their health during the period of observation," he said.

A meeting of health officials in the state will be held here tomorrow which will discuss further measures to be taken in this regard, the official added.

A decision of imparting training to health officials of all states on ways and means to detect and prevent Ebola was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth at Delhi on October 16.

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