Ona: Don't worry about Ebola virus

Posted at 07/31/2014 5:41 PM | Updated as of 08/01/2014 12:53 AM

MANILA - Health Secretary Enrique Ona said he is more concerned about the increase in cases of dengue and leptospirosis than the entry of the Ebola virus into the country.

Ona told health reporters on Thursday, “There is no cause for worry. They can sleep deeply. Don’t wade in flood waters. Clean your surroundings. Wear your jackets. I’m more worried about dengue and leptospirosis.”

He did not downplay the danger of Ebola, however, saying the government will make sure that the virus will not enter nor spread here.

“We are concerned. When we say we are concerned, it means we are doing everything to make sure it does not reach us or our people,” he said.

He said kits are available at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to test Ebola cases.

Airport officials are ready to screen passengers from abroad, he added.

The highly infectious Ebola has killed 672 people in West African nations.

Sierra Leone has declared a public health emergency to stem the worst outbreak of Ebola, which was observed some five months ago.

Several agencies, such as the Peace Corps, have removed volunteers in Sierra Leone and nearby Liberia and Guinea due to the virus.