Thai doctor sees Ebola epidemic not ending soon


BANGKOK, Oct 16 A virus expert in Thailand has pointed out that the Ebola virus disease is unlikely to stop spreading and an outbreak in Asia cannot be ruled out because a large number of Asians are working in Africa.

Prof Emeritus Dr Prasert Thongcharoen, advisor to the Department of Disease Control, said that the World Health Organization is concerned and has warned about Ebola because many Asian workers are in Africa and most don’t know how to protect themselves from the disease.

Ebola is likely to be contained in some Senegalese towns, Dr Prasert said, but the epidemic remains serious in Guinea and Sierra Leone as most local people have insufficient knowledge about the disease.

“At this stage, I don’t see the epidemic as likely to end because it has spread to Ethiopia and other countries,” Dr Prasert said.

He also warned concerned parties to watch out for the Marburg virus that he said was more severe as the mortality rate of patients was 40-90 per cent.

The physical symptoms of Marburg patients were the same as those of the Ebola disease, so it was difficult to identify cases of both diseases, and their transmission was also the same, through body fluids, Dr Prasert said.

For this winter he also called for precautions to prevent an outbreak of influenza and coronavirus.