The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) issued an Ebola advisory today (in Tagalog) warning citizens of Ebola Virus Disease. As of 1st August 2014, the cumulative number of cases attributed to EVD in the four countries (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone) stands at 1,603 including 887 deaths.
In addition to the advisory, the government’s inter-agency task force comprised of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) agreed to temporarily lock deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in African countries at risk of the dreaded virus.
“Knowing your enemy is half the battle won,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona declared as he underscored the importance of educating the public on the deadly EVD.
The Philippines has many OFWs in the EVD-affected countries. Data from the DFA show there are about 880 Filipinos living in Guinea, 1,979 in Sierra Leone and 632 in Liberia, including the 148 Filipino UN Peacekeeping Force. Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said that in their records, there are 72 in Guinea, 398 in Sierra Leone and 202 Filipino workers in Liberia.
Health Secretary Dr. Enrique Ona assured the Philippines remains to be Ebola-free, but concerned agencies are keeping close eye on five of the 15 OFWs who have arrived Jun 26 – July 15 from Sierra Leone.
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) director Dr. Socorro Lupisan said that OFWs who show signs and symptoms of the virus will immediately be tested and treated. “Those who are symptomatic will be brought to (RITM) negative pressure rooms. Blood samples will be taken and we will test (them) for Ebola,” Lupisan noted. “We will have results within two days.” For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page