Thailand at low risk from Ebola


BANGKOK, Aug 1 — Thailand is at low risk from the current spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa, and the public should not panic in response to unsubstantiated reports on social media, Dr Yong Poovorawan of Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medical Science warned today.

Emphasizing that it is still quite difficult for the disease to spread in Thailand, Dr Yong said although there had been 20 Ebola outbreaks in the past four decades, the disease is still contained mostly in West Africa.

The spread of Ebola is more difficult than an influenza as people could contract the deadly disease only after close contact with a patient or through direct contact from the patient’s blood or  urine, for example.

The Ebola virus could spread if the patient has a very high temperature, but in this circumstance, it would be difficult for the patient himself to wander, said Dr Yong.

Members of the public should not panic after reading inaccurate information on social media, said Dr Yong. He said such fears joined with some people’s prejudice against persons from African countries.

Chulalongkorn University tests conducted on Lyle’s flying fox in Thailand also found no indication of Ebola disease.

As the number of Ebola victims is rising in some African countries, officials at the quarantine section of Suvarnabhumi Airport have become more strict on monitoring travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since June 8.

Inspections were conducted on 285 travellers from the three countries, but no disease victim was found, officials said.