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MOSCOW, August 08, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s foreign ministry recommends Russians to refrain from trips to African countries gripped by deadly Ebola outbreak and to strictly follow recommendations of health authorities if they are there, the ministry said on Friday.
The ministry said that Moscow had seconded to Conakry Russia’s leading virologists and epidemiologists to help local medics cope with the disease. Apart from that, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently handed over a Russian medical module to Sierra Leone. Previously, a similar module was delivered to the Guinean authorities.
“African countries positively assess Russia’s practical contribution to the anti-Ebola efforts. We plan to expand our efforts,” the ministry stressed.
According to the Russian foreign ministry, the Ebola situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is very difficult. “The World Health Organization and the international community in general are taking serious efforts to fight against the Ebola outbreak. On August 6-7, the WHO’s emergency committee had a meeting in Geneva to discuss problems related to the spreading Ebola epidemics and related threats,” the ministry said.
Ebola fever broke out in Guinea in February and now it is spreading on other countries in West Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll from Ebola disease in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia has exceeded 960. Since the start of the outbreak, more than 1,700 people have been infected.
The World Health Organization describes Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) as “a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%.” Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. The incubation period is 2 to 21 days. There is no known cure or vaccine for the disease. The only treatment offered is “supportive intensive care.” During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.