Panama, September 24.

Around 27 workers of the national ports were trained on the basic measures for occupational safety at the ports and on the guidelines to follow in the case of a possible Ebola virus outbreak.

Taking into consideration the current situation of the disease in West Africa, as a result of the Ebola virus, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) recommended that Member States remain on the alert in the face of the potential introduction of the virus in the Americas.

Faced with this reality, the Port Security and Health Section of the Panama Maritime Authority, in coordination with the Training Unit, organized the training of staff members that work in several ports such as Coquira, Vacamonte, Taboga, Bahia Las Minas, Balboa Captaincy, Home Port (Colon), Quay 3 (Colon), Port Panama and 2 guests from the Panama Ports Company.

Mr. Roberto Pineda, Head of the Section of Security and Health of Ports of the General Directorate of Ports and Auxiliary Maritime Industries and Mr. Israel Cedeño Gonzalez, Head of International Health of the National Epidemiology Department (Public Health General Office at the Ministry Health) were in charge of giving this training.

The Ebola virus produces a febrile hemorrhagic disease whose mortality rate ranges from 50% to 90%; so far, there is no vaccine or specific treatment available. This is why, it is essential to take measures to prevent and control possible outbreaks.

Ebola virus disease is a serious infectious disease spread between humans from person to person. The infection is transmitted by direct or indirect contact with the blood, body fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people or by indirect contact with materials contaminated by such fluids. Ebola cannot be transmitted by air, as in the case of other strains of influenza.