DFA: Alert level 2 up in three African countries due to Ebola outbreak

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The Philippines on Wednesday raised Crisis Alert Level 2 in the West African states of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia due to the deadly Ebola virus outbreak that has so far killed 467 people.

Manila also temporarily stopped the deployment of new workers to these countries, but said only those with existing labor contracts can return to their employers.

Under alert level 2, Filipinos are urged to restrict non-essential movement, avoid public places and exercise the necessary health precautions.

“They should follow the advice of local health authorities,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose told a press briefing.

There are 880 Filipinos in Guinea, 632 in Liberia, including 148 Filipino peacekeepers, and 1,979 in Sierra Leone. Jose said most of these Filipinos are employed in the skilled sectors.

“We continue to monitor the incidences of the Ebola Virus outbreak in that region,” Jose said, adding the Philippine government is prepared to assist those Filipinos who wish to return to the country.

Ebola is an extremely contagious disease which spreads from close contact with bodily fluids from an infected organism, both human and animal.

There is no known cure or vaccine for the disease, which has an incubation period of two to 21 days.

Total reported cases has reached 600 across West Africa.

By : Michaela del Callar, GMAnetwork.com

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