CDC rules out Ebola as cause of death of Bahamian patient

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has ruled out Ebola as the cause of death of a Bahamian woman last month.

The Bahamas’ Minister of Health Dr. Michael Perry Gomez said on Tuesday that the CDC confirmed, through conclusive testing, that the patient who passed away at the Princess Margaret Hospital on March 27 was not suffering from Ebola infection.

The 51-year-old woman had returned to the Bahamas on March 15 after travelling to Johannesburg, South Africa, and was subsequently hospitalized.

“This concretely rules out the possibility of Ebola as the cause of death in this case. The Ministry of Health is grateful for the collaboration with our international partners, including the local Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Representative along with PAHO Washington team which facilitated the testing through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” he said.

Dr. Gomez said pathological examinations will continue to determine the cause of the woman’s death.

“In other circumstances a post mortem would have already been done, but they could not proceed with the post mortem until we got these results and the results just took long for us to get because of other issues that arose,” he said.

The minister explained that those issues resulted from health officials initially facing “great difficulty” in getting local licensed couriers to transport the samples to the CDC.

The Government of The Bahamas, through the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health and their public and private partners, established a National Health Protocol to deal with significant public health threats such as Ebola once the outbreak was first announced in West Africa two years ago.

That National Health Strategy outlines the protocols local health officials must undertake to ensure the public’s health is protected regardless of what the potential infectious disease might be.

Public Hospitals Authority Managing Director, Herbert Brown, applauded the efforts of health officials at the Princess Margaret Hospital for following the protocols “to the letter”. (Caribbean 360)

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