Malaysia still safe from Ebola, says medical association

Malaysia still safe from Ebola, says medical association

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia is still safe from the deadly Ebola virus as there are no direct flights between Malaysia and the affected countries, said Malaysian Medical Association president Dr H. Krishna Kumar.

The current 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak, which started in March, is considered one of the most severe, affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

So far, 729 individuals, or 55 per cent of those infected have died from the disease.

"The fastest way that infectious diseases spread is when people fly. As there are no direct flights between Malaysia and the affected states, we are indirectly safe.

"The countries with direct flights to West Africa need to be extra careful as anyone coming from an area of infectious disease can be affected," said Dr Krishna.

However, there are still flights between Malaysia and affected countries which connect through Britain and other international hubs.

"Because we have an indirect buffer, we are relatively safe in that manner.

"When flights land in the Britain, the passengers would have already been screened. Usually, if someone flies through developed countries the safety measures are better. However, if they fly through a third world nation, the precautionary measures might not be as good," he added.

Dr Krishna said should the situation escalate, the World Health Organisation (WHO) would inform Malaysia of safety risks.

At that point, not only airports would be screened, but all ports of entry including land and sea would also be monitored.

Dr Krishna said that the Health Ministry had measures in place to address the spread of the disease if the situation worsened.

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