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NICD: SA has plan in place to deal with potential Ebola outbreak

Since the DRC government announced the outbreak earlier this month, at least 26 people have died.

Health workers wear protective equipment as they prepare to attend to suspected Ebola patients at Bikoro Hospital, the epicentre of the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says a plan is in place following the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since the DRC government announced the outbreak earlier this month, at least 26 people have died.

The NICD says the protocol for every disease with the potential to spread to South Africa is to ensure that the country is prepared for a possible outbreak.

This despite a report by the World Health Organisation, which found that the risk of Ebola spreading to South Africa or any country outside of the DRC currently remains low.

The NICD’s Kerrigan McCarthy says precautions have been made as part of the preparedness plan against the spread of Ebola.

“One of those is screening of people upon entering South Africa from international destinations, as well as increasing awareness among our healthcare workers.”

The NICD says it will be assisting WHO in dealing with the Ebola outbreak investigation for now from South African shores.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)