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Ebola hits medical tourism in Mumbai

Ebola hits medical tourism in Mumbai


A Spanish priest being treated for Ebola died on Tuesday in India amidst a worldwide debate over who should get experimental Ebola treatments.

After a meeting with medical experts, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it is ethical to use ZMapp and other unproven Ebola drugs. ZMapp is in very short supply and its manufacturer, Mapp Biopharma, said it had sent all available supplies to West Africa.

Meanwhile, a Spanish priest, one of the three patients on whom ZMapp was administered, died on Tuesday. The others are two Americans. Ebola has already killed 1,013 people and there have been 1,848 reported cases. In Mumbai, the Ebola virus has hit medical tourism.

City hospitals see at least 100-150 patients from South Africa a month. With the Ebola outbreak, corporate hospitals like Jaslok have decided to restrict the number of patients from that country. "The Ebola outbreak has become a bigger public health problem and it will have a cascading effect on medical tourism," Dr Hemlata Arora, VP, medical, SevenHills, said.

Different safety measures were taken in hospitals in India - restriction of entering for patients unless they require urgent surgery, thorough checking the patient for Ebola virus. Many doctors has been put on high alert about treating South African patients, they asked to be extra cautious when meeting such patients.

Many experts have agreed the Ebola scare has hit medical tourism. While surgeries will be postponed for a while, emergency cases will be dealt with after taking into account the virus infection status and directives from health officials.

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Tags: Ebola, experimental Ebola treatments, medical experts, medical tourism in Mumbai, ZMapp, unproven Ebola drugs, World Health Organisation

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