WHO updates clinical practices for Ebola treatment, care

February 7, 2015 1:58 pm 

GENEVA, Feb. 7 — The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday updated its clinical practices for treating and caring for Ebola patients.

The move came after WHO convened a meeting to update its current clinical standards for hemorrhagic fevers. Technicians involved in the care of patients with Ebola, scientists and representatives from WHO clinical networks and NGOs also jointed the meeting.

"It is very clear adequate support of care reduces fatality rates substantially. The Ebola treatment unit using intravenous fluid resuscitation and other symptomatic treatments have dropped fatality rates considerably, getting them down as low as 25 to 45 percent," Margaret Harris, WHO technical adviser, said to the press on Friday.

She noted that early health screening and better practices in the community have contributed to better survival rates as well.

Harris said fluid replacement therapy remained a basic step in supporting good treatment. It could be done orally if people can drink. If people start to get symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, it is more ideal to apply the therapy intravenously.

As regards to experimental drugs, "there has not been any published information indicating a clear evidence of effect as yet, " she noted.

Harris highlighted the necessity to address special and vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant women.

She said children under five have a very high rate of mortality because they need a great deal of support to be fed and cared for. The Ebola virus can stay in the amniotic fluid even after the pregnant women has fully recovered, Harris added.

She said people who survived Ebola continue to have physical problems, especially muscle, joint pain, headaches and visual problems, along with a variety of psychological problems.

"There is a huge need for ongoing care for people who have recovered from Ebola," she noted.(PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/PJN

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