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Acsa to implement Ebola measures

Officials at OR Tambo International Airport introduced a thermal scanning machine to detect high fevers.

FILE: A member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) will continue working with the Department of Health and the South African Civil Aviation Authority to implement the necessary measures to secure local airports.

Ebola has killed at least 1,145 people in four African nations and the death toll continues to climb.

The UN health agency faces questions over whether it should have declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" before 8 August.

Officials at OR Tambo International Airport have introduced a thermal scanning machine in order to detect travellers with high fevers.

Acsa's Unathi Batyashe-Fillis says passenger well-being is top priority.

"We are satisfied that the screens that are at some of our airports as well as the other monitoring machines that are in our airports are sufficient."

Doctors Without Borders has expressed concern about the outbreak of the virus in West Africa.

It has warned that health workers in West Africa are struggling to stem the spread of the virus due to the lack of trained professionals in the region.

The group is calling on countries with better resources to send trained emergency response teams to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria where the outbreak is most prevalent.

Earlier today, the department confirmed that a 37-year-old man underwent tests for the Ebola virus and has since been cleared.

The man was admitted to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital on Sunday after visiting his doctor and complaining of a spiking fever.

The man had worked as a health and safety officer for a mining operation in Liberia.

The Ministry of Health and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said the patient's condition is stable and further tests are being conducted for other infections.

The department's Joe Maila said the Ebola tests have come back negative.

In another case, a pregnant woman was tested for Ebola at a different hospital but was also cleared.

Meanwhile, a team from the NICD team has arrived in Sierra Leone to assist in containing the virus.

The team has all the necessary equipment and says the best way to stop the virus is to start by confirming exactly who has been infected and then contain it.