SA, Mpuma, ready for Moz Ebola threat

2014-09-14 21:11
Medical workers of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital of Monrovia wearing a protective suit work at the high-risk area of the hospital, the surgical section where Ebola patients are being treated. (AFP)

Medical workers of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital of Monrovia wearing a protective suit work at the high-risk area of the hospital, the surgical section where Ebola patients are being treated. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mbombela - While neighbouring Mozambique is on a list of 15 countries at risk of animal-to-human transmission of Ebola, South Africa is not.

This follows a study by the University of Oxford in England whose list also includes Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Togo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar and Malawi.

"The reason South Africa is not on the Oxford list is because the country is extremely ready. Every port of entry into the country is on high alert. The border officials are equipped to detect anything and everything and deal with it," said national health spokesperson Joe Maila on Friday.

Maila said Mpumalanga, which borders Mozambique, was also ready to deal with any incident.

"We have already identified 11 hospitals throughout the country, including Rob Ferreira Hospital [in Mbombela] and have prepared them to deal with any kind of a  haemorrhaging fever,” Maila said.

There are five known strains of Ebola. The one that has currently broken out in West Africa is named Zaire and is considered the most virulent.

The other strains, named Sudan, Taï Forest and Bundibugyo, have caused contained outbreaks in Ivory Coast, Sudan, and Uganda in the past.

According to the World Health Organisation, the Reston species had not caused any known outbreaks.

Media have reported that until this year’s epidemic, Ebola did not exist in West Africa. Now with a death toll exceeding 2 000 people, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, scientists still don’t fully understand how Ebola arrived from Central Africa, where outbreaks of this strain of the virus had occurred in the past.

Oxford University's journal eLife explains that the virus could have spread through fruit bats that transmitted it to other animals through dense forest including 22 countries.

“Our map shows the likely ‘reservoir’ of Ebola virus in animal populations, and this is larger than has been previously appreciated,” said the study’s author Nick Golding, a researcher at Oxford University’s department of zoology.

“This does not mean that transmission to humans is inevitable in these areas; only that all the environmental and epidemiological conditions suitable for an outbreak occur there." 

Read more on:    mozambique  |  mbombela  |  ebola  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.