First positive Ebola case found in India

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ebola-case-indiaA 26-year-old Indian who returned from Liberia has been tested positive for Ebola.He landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport and is being isolated in a Delhi hospital.

The man had already been treated for Ebola in West Africa, currently does not have symptoms and tested negative for the virus before he flew. However, his semen tested positive for the virus.

He had a medical clearance certificate from the Liberian government saying the had been treated and was confirmed negative from blood tests—that would deem him Ebola-free, according to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His blood also tested negative in India. Semen can test positive after clinical clearance for up to three months, according to the CDC. The agency recommends abstinence from sex—including oral sex—for at least six months. If abstinence cannot be followed, the CDC recommends condoms to prevent disease spread.

The patient in India is being kept in isolation in a health facility at the airport until his semen tests negative.

Health Minister JP Nadda yesterday chaired inter-ministerial review meeting on Ebola Virus Disease and directed for strengthening preparedness and response management.

Senior Officers from the Ministry of External Affairs, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Department of Biotechnology, Health Research and World Health Organisation participated in the meeting. Health Minister directed officials to ensure that the quarantine facilities set up at airports, adhere to all standards guidelines. Mr Nadda constituted a three member team which will inspect all airports to identify the gaps and directed them to submit a report within a week.

On the core capacity of laboratory support, he emphasized the need to strengthen ten such laboratories by the end of the month. The Minister also directed the officials to constitute teams of experts who will visit the states and report on the preparedness of their designated hospitals, and asked them to work together towards capacity building of the states. He stated that training of the doctors and the para-medical staff needs to be a continuous exercise.

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