The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday announced the stepped up measures of strict monitoring in airports and other ports of entry in the country to prevent against the possible spread of the highly infectious Ebola virus disease (EVD) which already killed almost 700 people in West Africa, according to a Philippines News Agency report today.

Republic of the Philippines

The stricter infection control will include ensuring passengers coming into the country will have to undergo check-up and thermal scanning especially those showings signs of fever at the airports. Of particular concern is passengers arriving from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya and other countries affected with EVD.

Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona said, “As far as Ebola virus is concerned, just like in handling MERS-CoV ( Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and even in previous so-called viral influenza diseases in the past, all efforts are being done, we have given instruction to our staff in quarantine to make sure to inspect people who arrive at the airports.

“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.

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila has the capability to detect EVD, according to Ona.

The Philippines is just one of several countries who have announced stricter measures to prevent EVD from entering it’s country in the past couple days.

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa updated the Ebola case and death count yesterday. Between 24 and 27 July 2014, a total of 122 new cases as well as 57 deaths were reported from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

This brings the totals since the first cases were seen in Guinea in February to 1,323, including 729 deaths.  For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page