Ebola observation period set for returning peacekeepers
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - August 28, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino peacekeepers from Liberia will have to undergo a 30-day observation period for Ebola infection when they return home, the  Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

“Just like overseas Filipino workers from Ebola-affected countries, the troops will be observed for 30 days. The procedure will be the same,” DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy said.

Last Saturday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ordered the 115 peacekeepers in Liberia to return home due to the worsening Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The 115 peacekeepers are part of the 800 to 1,000 soldiers and police officers who are serving under the United Nations. They are deployed in disaster and conflict-hit areas such as in Cote d’lvoire, East Timor, Haiti and the Korean peninsula.

Lee Suy said doctors from the AFP or the Philippine National Police, instead of from DOH, would handle the observation of the troops.

“But they have been coordinating with us. All of these are part of the effort to keep our country Ebola-free,” he said.

DOH is observing individuals coming from Ebola-affected countries for 30 days, even if they arrive healthy and are not manifesting any symptoms.

This is to monitor the returnees in case they develop symptoms, as the incubation period for Ebola virus takes three weeks.

Data from the World Health Organization shows that as of Aug. 20, there were 1,528 confirmed Ebola cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, including 884 deaths.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH EAST TIMOR EBOLA GUINEA AND NIGERIA HAITI AND THE KOREAN LAST SATURDAY LEE SUY LYNDON LEE SUY PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE SIERRA LEONE
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