Nigerian Students failed to prove Ebola status

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
The Ministry of Health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines recently quarantined two Nigerian students who failed to prove their Ebola status.

The Students who arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines did not have the necessary medical certificates to prove that they were not infected with the Ebola virus and according to Ministry of Health sources they would be repatriated to Nigeria after quarantine.

This means that around this time, the students would already have been or would be about to be repatriated to Nigeria but CMN was unable to reach the Ministry to confirm their departure.

There has been much debate after the CDC hearing on Capitol Hill in DC with CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden to determine the merits and demerits of quarantine and how to handle Ebola cases or those who present at borders with a temperature of 99 degrees or more. In fact, since the death of Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, of Ebola in Texas and the travel of Vison Amber (a nurse who attended to him) but flew to Ohio and back with a an elevated temperature on the way back, the CDC issued new guidelines on Ebola. Amber survived after being treated at a specialized hospital in the US. In an interesting twist, a Doctors Without Borders nurse who returned to the US won her appeal not to be quarantined at a New Jersey hospital and returned to her home in Maine where she “self-quarantined” riding her bike at least once with the press camp outside of her front door.

The Ministry of Health in St. Vincent announced on September 1 that in order to prevent the entry of Ebola the country, anyone who travelled from Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia or those who visited the countries will not be allowed entry into the island(s). The Ministry also said that anyone travelling from any West African country and Nigeria would have to present a negative blood test result for entry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

It is important to note that more recently Nigeria has been deemed Ebola free by the WHO and at press time the status of the students was not determined and there has been a spike in cases in Sierra Leone.

CARICOM Heads of Government and stakeholders recently met to discuss a strategic approach to handling Ebola and chikungunya in the region.

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