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Ebola - Atta Medical Advisor
Q from Atta member ?
"We wanted to ask Atta's advice? We have noticed an increase in the number of rather scaremongering articles about Ebola and its spread in West Africa and beyond (this morning there was a report of a quarantined patient in Hong Kong for example) and are starting to get a few whispers from guests who are concerned.
What is ATTA’s view and advice on this? The FCO advice for the countries we sell has not changed, and I know the press are masters at stirring up fear but if there is a threat - however small - we feel we should be poised to respond to any concerns."
Dr Richard Dawood Atta's medical advior responds:
"Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have a very inadequate public health infrastructure that has so far been unable to control the present outbreak. Until sufficient external help is provided, the number of cases there will grow, and cases will undoubtedly spread to other countries via travel - though in most other countries further spread will be extremely unlikely since very close/body fluid contact is needed for further spread. I think it is quite likely that one or two isolated cases will find their way to the UK, for example, though onward spread would be extremely unlikely.
The problems members will face are problems of perception, should cases appear in countries where they operate. At this stage I cannot see any situation where clients would actually be at risk, though obviously the situation needs to be taken seriously and monitored closely."
In addition Atta advises that members monitor FCO advisory Health section on the countries that they cover and also consult the following websites:
UN World Health Organisation http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/
National Travel Health Health Network http://www.nathnac.org/countrysearch.aspx
Center for Disease Control Map