Medical experts today asked all not to be panicked over Ebola virus but remain alert over the deadly disease that has already killed 1427 people out of 2615 cases in West Africa.
The government has already declared a 90-day surveillance period and medical teams are monitoring the international airports, sea and land ports, they said.
“The Bangladesh government is well prepared to prevent the disease. We will put all-our efforts,” said Prof Pran Gopal Datta, vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), at a seminar.
BSMMU organised the discussion on “Menace of Ebola Virus: How much are we prepared?” at Dr Shaheed Milan Hall of the university at a time when the UN has declared the virus as a public health emergency of international concern.
Dr Mushtuq Husain, principal scientific officer of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said Bangladesh has experience of handling viral outbreak of MERS and Nipah in the recent times, and they have trained medical staff to handle Ebola.
Though Bangladesh has no direct air link to the West African nations -- Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone – there are some 800 Bangladeshis in peacekeeping missions and some migrant workers in those countries.
The World Health Organisation screens the out-bound travellers from those countries, but still the medical teams remain in the international airports in Bangladesh, and anyone having symptoms of the virus can report to the teams.
A 20-bed ward at the Kurmitola General Hospital has also been prepared to treat the patients, Dr Mushtuq Hosain said. No case has been reported in Bangladesh, he added.
Monkey, gorilla, chimpanzee, forest antelopes, bats are reservoirs of Ebola virus, but it can also be transmitted through human contacts. Health care workers, other patients, unsafe injections, and others coming in contacts with the patients can also transmit it.
Acute continued fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdomen pain, diarrhoea, malaise, flu-like, acute onset are the main symptoms of the disease, which has no drug or vaccine yet, said medicine professor Dr Zilan Miah Sarker of BSMMU.
However, supportive care and drug therapy can reduce mortality, he said, adding: “Prevention is of paramount importance.”
BSMMU pro-vice chancellors Prof Mohammad Shahidullah, Prof Ruhul Amin Miah, Prof Shahidullah Shikder and seminar sub-committee chair Prof Chowdhury Yakub Jamal also spoke.