Malaysia 'ready' for Ebola, says expert

Health officials at the Sungai Buloh Hospital back in 2009.
PHOTO: Malaysia 'ready' for Ebola, says expert

PETALING JAYA - Malaysia is on guard against the Ebola virus even though the probability of the infection entering the country is rather low, said the Health Ministry's expert on infectious disease.

Sungai Buloh Hospital's medical department head and consultant for in­­­fectious diseases Datuk Dr Christopher Lee said the preparedness had to be in place due to the increase in travel.

"The relatively long incubation period of up to 21 days also makes it more difficult to detect such cases on entry into the country," he said.

Dr Lee said all main state hospitals and major district hospitals with intensive care unit facilities would be the main focus for treatment.

In the Klang Valley, the Sungai Buloh Hospital would be the referral centre for suspected Ebola cases.

The World Health Organisation reported that from March to Aug 11, a total of 1,251 confirmed cases, with 686 deaths were reported from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria,.

Dr Lee said the experience with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and H1N1 had equipped them to manage infectious diseases.