Ebola outbreak very low risk for region

| 12/08/2019 | 1 Comment
Cayman News Service
DRC expands Ebola vaccine campaign

(CNS): Another outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic disease, Ebola, centred around the Democratic Republic of Congo, currently poses an extremely low level risk to the Caribbean region, regardless of the World Health Organisation Public Health Emergency declaration last month. Officials from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and local healthcare professionals have met a number of times recently to check preparations but say there is no cause for concern for the region.

In addition to facilitating lines of communication between the public and private sector, officials have reviewed and updated plans for dealing with such epidemics, and discussing plans with the Customs and Border Control Agency.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee said that recognising the outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern allows for intensified and coordinated international action to manage the threat by releasing funds and resources.

The World Health Organization is not currently recommending that any country close its borders or place any restrictions on travel and trade. And for countries not in the affected areas, there is no requirement to screen passengers arriving at airports or other ports of entry.

In 2014, when an outbreak killed thousands of people after it spread from the Congo to the US and Europe, creating world-wide panic, the authorities here invested around $3 million in relevant medical and quarantine equipment, including a field hospital, as a precaution in case an infected person arrived in Cayman.

Ebola has caused sporadic outbreaks in Africa since the 1970’s, and while there is no cure for the highy contagious disease, recent vaccine trials are showing signs of promise. It is likely that the virus is animal-borne, with bats being the most likely reservoir. 

Ebola is spread by direct contact (touching) with:

  • blood or body fluids of a person who is sick or who has died from Ebola
  • clothes, bedding, needles and syringes of a person who is sick or who has died from Ebola
  • blood or body fluids from infected bats or non-human primates
  • semen from a man who has recovered from Ebola.

For more information, call the Public Health Department on 244-2889 or 244-2621 or Faith Hospital on 948-2243.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (1)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    You’re more likely to get sick from DEH lack of garbage collection or the trucks that spread a river of garbage juice all over the roads!

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