Luncheon to Help US Businesses Prepare for the Ebola Virus

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) on Friday will host an “informative luncheon” to help U.S. businesses in Cambodia respond to the deadly Ebola virus if it reaches the country.

“It is to help American businesses prepare themselves in case Ebola ever comes to Cambodia,” Ronald Marvin, AmCham’s executive director, said of the event, which will be the first of its kind in the country since Ebola became a global health concern earlier this year.

The virus has killed more than 4,000 people worldwide since the first case in the current outbreak was reported in West Africa in December.

According to AmCham, representatives from the Ministry of Health’s communicable disease control department, the U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit 2 and the international relief NGO Samaritan’s Purse will speak at the seminar.

But the chance of Ebola reaching Cambodia remains slim, said Sonny Krishnan, the WHO’s advocacy and communications officer in Cambodia, adding that the National Institute of Public Health and the Institut Pasteur have had no cause to conduct tests for suspected cases.

“At the moment, there is no cause for concern…. They have not conducted any tests yet. There have been no suspected cases,” he said.

In August, the Health Ministry introduced the use of body-temperature sensors at airports and border checkpoints in an effort to keep Ebola out of the country.

Ly Sovann, director of the communicable disease control department, said Tuesday that the Health Ministry was prepared to deal with a possible Ebola outbreak in the country because of its experience dealing with past viruses.

“We experienced an outbreak of bird flu, but we were able to prevent the spread and curb a new outbreak,” he said.

Cambodia recorded 26 cases of bird flu in humans last year, 12 of which proved fatal, the worst year for the country since the virus was first found in poultry here in 2004.

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