Canada Unlikely to Get Affected by Ebola Virus, Health Officer Claims

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | July 31, 2014 2:48 PM EST

It is unlikely that Canada will be affected by the West African Ebola virus, according to its public health officer.

Canada's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr Gregory Taylor said that Canada would have a very low risk of getting affected by the virus. The main reason behind the low risk is that geographical distance between West Africa and Canada. He also mentioned that there was no direct flight connecting the two faraway places on the globe either. Taylor, at the same time, said that border agents were vigilant. If there is any traveller, appearing to be sick, tries to enter the country, it will be immediately reported. The traveller will be quarantined straightway.

REUTERS/Umaru Fofana
Government health workers are seen during the administration of blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014. West African states lack the resources to battle the world's worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday. The outbreak has killed 467 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, making it the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Picture taken June 25, 2014.

Taylor issued an official statement on Wednesday, July 30, where he explained how Canada would protect itself from the virus. "The Ebola virus itself does not spread easily from person to person," the statement said. "It's not like the flu; it's spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids, not through casual contact."

Taylor also explained how vigilant the quarantine officers were at the border areas. "Quarantine officers are vigilant in their surveillance of travellers who are ill, including those showing signs of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea or other indications of an infectious disease," Taylor said. He further said that Canada hospitals had "sophisticated infection control systems" to control the spread of the virus.

Sandra Smiley from the British group "Doctors Without Borders" too said that Canada was an unlikely country to be affected by the virus. The Canadian said that countries like Canada or the United Kingdom would possibly not be affected by the Ebola virus. Canada is, however, keeping a close watch about the disease because the world is talking about it, she said.

The Ebola virus infected more than 1200 people in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea with the mortality rate is as high as 56 per cent. However, there is no reported case of Ebola in Canada yet.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Umaru Fofana / )
Government health workers are seen during the administration of blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014. West African states lack the resources to battle the world's worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday. The outbreak has killed 467 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since February, making it the largest and deadliest ever, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Picture taken June 25, 2014.
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