The Ministry of Health will continue its ongoing preparedness efforts in respect of the Ebola Virus Disease next week, when a simulation exercise will be conducted at one of the polyclinics.

Simulation exercises are among a number of measures implemented by the Ministry as it maintains vigilance. Other measures include training, the implementation of protocols and public education.

Enhanced surveillance measures remain in place at the air and sea ports to identify any person travelling from the affected area. These include review of passports by Immigration Officers to determine the passenger???s travel history within the six weeks prior to travelling to Barbados.

Once it is established that someone has arrived from a country where Ebola is endemic, then specific precautions will be taken, including the administration of a checklist and an assessment by a Port Health Nurse, to determine the level of risk.

If the Environmental Health Officers and Port Health Nurses identify a person with symptoms, that person will be placed in the quarantine facility at the port of entry for further assessment. A passenger who is asymptomatic, but has had contact with an Ebola patient or other infected substances, will be placed under active surveillance for a period of 21 days.

However, if they have not been in contact with anyone with Ebola, they will be placed under passive surveillance. In times of high alert, Barbados has established procedures for determining illnesses on board air and sea vessels in advance of arrival.

Members of the public are reminded that while Barbados has not banned travel to or from West Africa, the Ministry of Health recommends that residents defer travel to the region unless absolutely essential, until the current Ebola outbreak is brought under control. Persons who must travel are advised to pay attention to their health after returning, and to follow the instructions given by port health officials upon their arrival in Barbados.

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