THE LATEST Ebola outbreak, regarded as the worst since the virus was first discovered in 1976, has put countries on high alert with the death toll from the current outbreak in West Africa claiming at least 660 lives with another 100 confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus.
The Ministry of Health and Civil Aviation Authority say they have taken new measures to prevent the disease from spreading to Rwanda, especially after the virus was reported to have spread to the Nigerian city of Lagos – one of the several destinations for the national carrier, RwandAir.
The deaths of people such as renowned medics who were involved in the treatment of Ebola patients in Liberia, as well as passengers who were in transit through the affected countries, reminded the world of the virulent nature of the virus.
The fact that people can now move from one corner of the world to the other in a matter of hours has prompted speculation that the latest outbreak could even reach distant areas as far as United States and Europe.
In the wake of this threat, it is important that regional countries work more closely to seal all possible avenues through which the virus can land in the region.
Globally, nations and institutions need to urgently mobilise resources and help affected countries to contain the spread before it gets out of hand.
Meanwhile, the Rwandan public, including businesses, as well as other partners such as airlines, should support the existing national precautionary measures to help monitor and detect any suspicious cases.
Scientists say that Ebola spreads through blood and other bodily fluids, with symptoms including headache, weakness, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and sore throat, among others. Individuals are also advised to avoid non-emergency trips to areas with known outbreaks, wash their hands frequently, and avoid contact with people from affected areas. If everyone can play their part and remain vigilant we can keep this deadly virus at bay.