Ebola to be declared a ‘dangerous communicable disease’


BANGKOK, Aug 9 — The Public Health Ministry plans to declare Ebola as the sixth most ‘dangerous communicable disease’ in Thailand in a precautionary effort to control the virus from spreading in both human and animal, said Permanent Secretary for Public Health Dr Narong Sahametapat.

Currently, there are five ‘dangerous communicable diseases’ declared in the Dangerous Communicable Disease Act of BE 2523 and Ebola would be the sixth one to make the list.

The five diseases are cholera, smallpox, yellow fever, bubonic plague, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the major reason for naming Ebola the sixth most ‘dangerous  communicable disease’ is to pave the way for ministry officials in containing the disease in both human and animal, said Dr Narong.

He said the ministry will request approval next week and it would be enforced immediately after publishing in the Royal Gazette.

Dr Sopon Mekthon, director-general of the Ministry’s Disease Control Department, said the deadly disease was now found in only three countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A total of 1,440 patients have been diagnosed as of August 4, of which 887 have died.

Dr Sopon said close monitoring of passengers arriving from those three countries at Thailand’s international airports as of August 7 found five passengers warranting 21-day monitoring, but none of them was found to have contracted the disease.