Health Ministry Continuing Surveillance

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The Ministry of Health is continuing to closely monitor the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in four countries in West Africa, which according to the World Health Organization is the largest ever recorded.

This disclosure came today from Ministry officials who said that surveillance systems at all ports of entry have been heightened to facilitate and coordinate case detection among travellers and that necessary systems are in place to manage travellers who arrive from Ebola infected areas with unexplained fever or other symptoms.

Stressing that Barbados has a sound public health care system, the official noted that Ministry of Health ???has the capacity to respond to the Ebola threat if the need arises???.??In addition, all health care workers at ports of entry are being updated on the progression of the disease and have been alerted to the need to follow protective measures, the official stated.

Meanwhile, refresher training has been identified for other categories of staff in order to raise awareness and knowledge of infection prevention and control measures and key stakeholders will also benefit from similar training, beginning next week.

The Ministry has stressed that there is no general ban of international travel or trade. However, it strongly recommends that non-essential travel to the regions of West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria) should be postponed indefinitely or until the outbreak has been deemed to be under control.

Members of the public are reminded that while the risk of being exposed to the Ebola virus is quite low, the Ministry of Health is maintaining its vigilance for the recognition, reporting and prompt investigation of persons with symptoms of Ebola and other similar diseases that can cause viral haemorrhagic fevers.

Health officials are also reminding members of the public that they should frequently wash their hands with soap and water, or alternately use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as this is one of the most effective measures for preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Author: Ministry of Health/BGIS
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