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800 people under Ebola surveillance in Zim

Authorities maintain the risk is low but there have been several scares.

FILE: A health worker stands near a man suspected of suffering from the Ebola virus as he lies on the ground naked after he was admitted to Island Hospital in Monrovia on 2 October 2014. Picture: AFP.

ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwe still hasn't had one confirmed Ebola case but it has put 800 people under intensive surveillance for the deadly virus since August.

Authorities maintain the risk is low but there have been several scares.

This isn't about putting people in quarantine.

What the Zimbabwe authorities do is identify which arrivals have recently visited Ebola-hit areas.

This means that travellers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria have all been checked up on for 21 days after entering Zimbabwe as have visitors from Senegal.

Zimbabwe Health Ministry officials say more than 800 people have been screened since the measures were put in place in August and that figure is of course going up each week.

The Herald newspaper is reporting senior Health Ministry official Gerald Gwinji as saying visitors are monitored throughout the three-week period, even in remote rural areas.

Ebola, a rare, tropical disease is spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids such as blood, sweat and vomit. The virus has infected over 15,000 people in the region since it was first reported in Guinea in March, according to the World Health Organisation.

Over 5,459 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record.