Amid rising health crisis in W. Africa, Lebanon halts work permits from countries battling Ebola virus

Published August 1st, 2014 - 01:59 GMT

Lebanon’s Labor Ministry said Friday that it would suspend work permits for citizens of three Western African countries that have witnessed an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, part of the government’s measures to prevent a possible spread of the deadly virus.

"In order to preserve the general safety and in accordance with the measures that need to be taken to prevent an Ebola outbreak, the Labor Ministry will stop receiving [labor] requests or proceed with requests for citizens of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia,” a statement by the ministry said.

The ministry said it made the decision in consultation with the Health Ministry, which is taking measures at the airport and border crossings to combat Ebola, which has so far killed an estimated 790 people and infected more than 1,200 others since the beginning of the year.

Lebanon has begun taking preventative measures at the Beirut airport by examining passengers who might have symptoms of fever. The Health Ministry, coordinating with the World Health Organization, has distributed awareness-raising brochures and flyers to all passengers who pass through the airport.

Ebola is not an airborne disease but is spread via bodily fluids, such as blood, mucus and semen, where it can survive for up to three months.

According to the WHO website, symptoms include rapid fever and flu-like symptoms, which then progresses to vomiting, diarrhea and organ failure followed by internal and external bleeding.

Speaking from Beirut's airport, Health Minister Wael Abou Faour told LBC that the measures taken to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus would allow for the detection of anyone who was infected.

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