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

  @snksounak on July 31 2014 2:48 PM
Government health workers are seen during the administration of blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014.
Government health workers are seen during the administration of blood tests for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014. REUTERS

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.

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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