Hanoi hospital says ready for Ebola fight

By Lien Chau, Thanh Nien News

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Members of Vietnam's Health Ministry, WHO and CDC visit a Hanoi hospital to inspect their Ebola quarantine ward on October 19, 2014. Photo: Ngoc Thang Members of Vietnam's Health Ministry, WHO and CDC visit a Hanoi hospital to inspect their Ebola quarantine ward on October 19, 2014. Photo: Ngoc Thang

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The director of a major hospital in Hanoi announced Sunday that his facility is prepared to test and quarantine potential Ebola patients.
Doctor Nguyen Van Kinh, director of the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital, told visitors from the Health Ministry, the World Health Organization and the US’s Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention that they are ready.
Kinh said the hospital has set up medical teams and facilities to quarantine Ebola patients at the hospital as well as provide emergency aid elsewhere, if necessary.
The hospital has received tissue samples to screen for the deadly hemorrhagic fever virus, he said, while guaranteeing safety protocols.
Vietnam has yet to report an Ebola infection and monitoring arrivals from the six afflicted countries in West Africa – namely, New Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Nigeria and Senegal.
Most of Vietnam's arrivals during the past two months were from Nigeria. Vietnam sees much fewer travelers from the first three countries, which have been the hardest hit.
Vietnam still has 23 workers in Congo. The labor ministry has asked the exporter to make sure they are protected and to bring them home as soon as they wish to come.
The virus has killed 70 percent or more than 4,000 of the infected cases during the outbreak.
Officials in Vietnam have decided against demanding certificates of health from travelers disembarking from the US and Spain, where three health workers were struck by the virus after caring for Ebola patients.
Their infections were the first recorded outside Africa and have raised questions about whether there was a lapse in disease control protocols.
The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissue from infected animals and people.
World Health Organization members have kept dismissing concern about the virus going airborne due to a lack of evidence.
During the recent hospital visit, however, an unidentified expert said that a person suffering from open wounds could contract Ebola by standing near a patient who coughs, vomits or sneezes secretions containing high concentration of the virus.
Nguyen Thanh Long, vice minister of health, said the ministry will have major hospitals carry out Ebola treatment drills this week.

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