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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 142-143

Public health interventions to prevent the international spread of Ebola virus disease

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication31-Dec-2015

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-4220.172917

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Public health interventions to prevent the international spread of Ebola virus disease . Int J Adv Med Health Res 2015;2:142-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Public health interventions to prevent the international spread of Ebola virus disease . Int J Adv Med Health Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Sep 26];2:142-3. Available from: https://www.ijamhrjournal.org/text.asp?2015/2/2/142/172917

The 2014-2015 outbreak of Ebola in West-African nations have come as an eye opener for the stakeholders that many basic facilities are lacking in most of the developing nations. [1],[2] In-fact, since the emergence of the outbreak in March 2014, almost 27,181 cases and 11,162 Ebola associated deaths have been reported till the 1 st week of June 2015 in nine nations worldwide. [3] It has been realized that the Ebola outbreak could have been easily contained, provided the public health authorities had responded promptly. [2],[4]

Among the multiple parameters (like no preparedness, poverty, no training of health professionals, etc.,) involved in increasing the incidence of the disease, migration and travel play a crucial role. [1],[2],[4] A couple of hypotheses have been proposed to explain the association of travel and Ebola disease, namely international travel by the infected patients, and local movement of people across the borders in search of job opportunities. [4],[5]

The international welfare agencies and stakeholders have recommended a set of interventions for reducing the incidence of Ebola disease in the affected regions. [2],[6] However, with regard to safe travel, specific interventions have been laid down to warrant early detection of potentially infectious patients, and to neutralize the risk of international spread of the disease. [7],[8],[9] Furthermore, a culturally-sensitive approach has been formulated to enable active participation of the members of the community so that the practice of migration across the regions can be successfully addressed. [2],[5]

Despite the recommendation that any travel to and from the Ebola-affected nation's exposes the travelers to minimal-risk, it is very essential to adhere to standardized precautions like avoiding direct contact with symptomatic individuals; no contact with the body of a deceased Ebola victim; maintaining hand hygiene; prompt medical attention on realizing the presence of symptoms; and informing airline staff about a symptomatic companion traveler. [7],[8],[9] However, at no stage the practice of contact tracing should be neglected so that no subsequent new chain of transmission can precipitate. [10]

In conclusion, periodic sensitization of the travelers, airport staff, and other stakeholders regarding the do's and don'ts at the time of travel can considerably minimize the potential risk of spread of the Ebola to the unaffected nations.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Briand S, Bertherat E, Cox P, Formenty P, Kieny MP, Myhre JK, et al. The international Ebola emergency. N Engl J Med 2014;371:1180-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chan M. Ebola virus disease in West Africa - no early end to the outbreak. N Engl J Med 2014;371:1183-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. Ebola Situation Report; 3 June, 2015. Available from: http://www.apps.who.int/ebola/en/current-situation/ebola-situation-report-3-june-2015. [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 08].  Back to cited text no. 3
Gatherer D. The 2014 Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. J Gen Virol 2014;95:1619-24.  Back to cited text no. 4
World Health Organization. Ebola in West Africa: Heading for Catastrophe? 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/Ebola/Ebola-6-months/west-africa/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Mar 19].  Back to cited text no. 5
World Health Organization. WHO response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak: Update by the WHO regional director for Africa. Geneva: WHO Press; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 6
World Health Organization. Interim infection prevention and control guidance for care of patients with suspected or confirmed filovirus haemorrhagic fever in health-care settings, with focus on Ebola. Geneva: WHO Press; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 7
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim guidance about Ebola virus infection for airline flight crews, cleaning personnel, and cargo personnel. Atlanta: CDC; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 8
World Health Organization. Ebola: Protective Measures for the General Public; 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/Ebola/what-you-need-to-know/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Mar 27].  Back to cited text no. 9
World Health Organization. Contact tracing during an outbreak of Ebola virus disease: Disease surveillance and response programme area disease prevention and control cluster. Republic of Congo: WHO Press; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 10


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