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Ebola great threat to India, say experts at IMS seminar in Odisha


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 18:

An outbreak of Ebola in a densely populated country like India can create hell of a difficult situation, experts said at a conclave organized here to discuss various infections.

“India being a densely populated country and bio-medical waste management being very poor in most Indian hospitals, chances of person to person transmission could be high,” Prof BN Panda, head of the department of Medicine in the Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, said.

SOAIn an article he co-authored with Dr SK Singh to mark the seminar on ‘Infections– the continuing challenge to mankind’ at the Sum Hospital here today Panda said no vaccine against Ebola was available though efforts were on to find one.

“Perhaps we will find an answer,” he said, adding the infection being highly contagious without the availability of any specific treatment.

Symptoms of Ebola were treated as they appeared but early basic interventions like providing intravenous fluids and balancing body salts, maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure and treating other infections increased the chances of survival of the patients, he said.

Tracing the history of the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Panda said 550 cases had been reported in African nations Zaire and Sudan in 1976.

“It is not an absolutely new disease as the first case was detected in Africa more than three decades back. We are not sure if it started from the fruit bats,” he said.

He said the first few cases were from the Ebola river valley area of Congo which gave the disease its name.

“Africa has given the world both the good and bad. Starting from diamonds, athletes and pyramids, it has given mankind the HIV. It is a continent that is least explored, mysterious and has a complex geography. It is a continent where the human population is in close contact with the animal population. The diseases of animals can be easily transmitted to the susceptible human in a way that is difficult to manage,” Panda pointed out.

The seminar, Medicine Update-2014, was inaugurated in the presence of several eminent medicine specialists including Prof RK Das, Prof PC Sahu, former professors of medicine at the MKCG Medical College Hospital, Berhampur, Dr Sonamali Bag, Director, Medical Education and Training (DMET), Prof DK Roy, Medical Director of IMS and Sum Hospital, and Prof PK Mohanty, Medical Superintendent of Sum Hospital.

Dr Chandan Das, organising secretary of the seminar and Dr SN Swain, chairman of the Souvenir Committee were also present.