Doctors sweat over whether Ebola positive man spread virus

Thursday, November 20, 2014
By Paul Martin

Sushmi Dey
Nov 20, 2014

NEW DELHI: Days after the semen sample of a man tested positive for Ebola on his arrival in the capital from Liberia, there are concerns that the virus may have skipped the safety check. Health authorities are worried that if other secretion samples of the Indian such as sweat, urine etc test positive for Ebola, chances are that the deadly virus may have spread to those travelling on the same flight, including flight attendants who may have come in direct contact with him.

After the semen samples of the 26-year-old who travelled last week tested positive, his other secretions and body fluids have been sent for testing at National Centre for Disease Control, official sources said. The man has been kept in isolation at the Airport Health Organisation’s quarantine centre. The blood samples of the man have tested negative.

Personnel from the health and civil aviation ministries are now also monitoring other passengers who travelled in the same flight from Liberia, said an official.

According to the official, passengers on all such flights are asked to make voluntary disclosure about their latest health condition along with the places of recent visit and future destinations so that they can be traced in case of any emergency, he said.

According to Indian Medical Association (IMA) general secretary Dr Narendra Saini, if other secretion samples of the man diagnosed with Ebola are found positive, there are strong chances of the virus spreading to others who may have come in contact with him. “There should be serious monitoring of co-passengers as well as the crew and flight attendants who were on the same flight,” Dr Saini said. He, however, added the chances of the virus getting spread through semen is very less as it can happen only through the sexual route.

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