Indonesia's health ministry warns of Ebola outbreak

Indonesia's health ministry warns of Ebola outbreak

The Health Ministry has alerted medical offices at seaports and airports as well as referential hospitals for bird flu, following a warning issued by the World Health Organisation regarding the spread of the Ebola virus from various regions in Africa.

Deputy Health Minister Ali Ghufron Mukti said on Friday that the ministry's biological laboratory, which has the highest level of security, was ready to check any patient suspected to have carried the Ebola virus into the country.

Ghufron said the government had not issued a travel ban and only suggested that people delay their travel to affected countries.

"If not urgent, it is advisable to postpone departure," Ghufron said as quoted by kompas.com on Saturday.

Ghufron said that the ministry has been working with the Religious Affairs Ministry in relation to prospective haj pilgrims.

He said that the United Arab Emirates had not issued 7,400 visas for haj pilgrims who came from infected countries.

The Health Ministry's Research and Development Agency head, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said Ebola was not transmitted through the air, but by direct contact with blood and faeces from patients.

Tjandra said that clinically, those who had been infected with the Ebola virus would experience symptoms of fever, limpness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhoea, which could cause bleeding and damage to the kidney and liver.

"From those symptoms, there is a slight chance that people infected by Ebola could travel by airplane," he said as quoted by kompas.com on Saturday.

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