How find out if you have Ebola

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MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) believes it is now in a better position in dealing with epidemics like Ebola infection.

In an interview on "Magandang Gabi Dok," Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy of the DOH said the country is ready for Ebola.

"No country can ever claim that they are 100% ready. Ang Philippines, because of the previous threats na natanggap na natin, with SARS, MERS-CoV, H1N1, I guess the Philippines, I think is in a better position now to address this concerns," Lee Suy added.

The DOH has intensified its surveillance system, starting in airports and other entry points in the country.

"Hindi magiging maganda ang lahat kung hindi maayos ang surveillance system natin kasi nga 'yun ang first step para ma-detect mo, kailangan maganda ang surveillance system," Lee Suy said.

He also explained that the fight against the disease will only be successful with the help of people, especially Filipinos coming home from abroad.

Lee Suy said Filipinos should make it a point to put their whole address in the health check list in the airport, in order for authorities to easily track down possible Ebola patients.

"Napakaimportante na i-fill up siya ng maayos. Importante na ilagay ang buong address kasi what if sa flight mo may nakasabay ka," he added.

Aside from surveillance, thermal scanners in airports can detect changes in a person's temperature.

If a person is found to have fever, he or she will be brought to a separate room for evaluation.

Lee Suy explained that not all people who have fever will be suspected to have been infected by the Ebola virus, as they also have to check the person's travel history.

Once a person is confirmed to have traveled to Ebola-affected countries in West Africa such as Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, the patient will be immediately brought to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for laboratory tests.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Ebola infection include common colds, fever, and body pains.

However, unlike the common flu, these flu-like symptoms can progress easily, and may lead to bleeding.

"Pero ito, mabilis ang progreso ng sakit, pwedeng umabot sa pagsusuka, pagdudumi, pagdurugo, hindi lang sa ilong o sa dumi, makikita mo sa skin mo, may rashes, o pula pula, sa mata, so 'yun talaga ang mga secretions," Lee Suy said.

"Kung malala na talaga ang sakit mo, kahit pawis pwedeng makahawa, kahit semen," the doctor added.

Ebola can be transmitted through bodily secretions, and is not as contagious as airborne diseases.

The DOH also monitors all Filipinos who have a history of travel to West Africa, checking on them after 21 days to ensure that they did not exhibit the symptoms of the disease.

So far, no Filipino has tested positive for Ebola infection.



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