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Jamaica on Ebola alert

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Jamaica on Ebola alert

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KINGSTON – Jamaica is now on high alert following reports that the deadly Ebola virus has reached the Western world.

The Ministry of Health is stepping up its response, monitoring travel, and is affirming the country’s surveillance system in quickly identifying, isolating, and managing any suspected cases should they reach the country’s shores.

“We have been preparing for the possible introduction of Ebola for a while since the outbreak, so we will be continuing our vigilance. We note what is happening in the United States and we hope that it will be quickly contained,” Dr Kevin Harvey, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, told The Gleaner yesterday.

“We are encouraged by the fact that Nigeria seemed to have been able control its epidemic, not having any cases since September.”

He added: “We are on high alert. We will continue to be alert at the ports, especially with persons travelling from any of the impacted countries.”

Yesterday, the United States’ Centres for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first case of the Ebola virus in the US, months after the recent outbreak of the deadly disease has been ravaging sections of West Africa, killing more than 3 000 persons.

The patient, who recently travelled to Liberia and went for days without knowing he had the disease, has now been isolated at a Dallas, Texas, hospital. However, it is unsure at this point how many persons he came in contact with before he was isolated. (Jamaica Gleaner)