Categorized | National News

Ebola Claims Persist Despite Minister’s Denial

Rumours of the deadly Ebola virus being in The Bahamas continued to linger yesterday despite Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez’s dismissal of the claims as bogus.

Reports of the virus which has already killed more than 2,400 people across a stretch of West African countries, being in The Bahamas surfaced on Wednesday, prompting Dr. Gomez to address the matter in the House of Assembly later that evening.

“Early today it was brought to the attention of senior officials of the Ministry of Health that a bogus claim was posted on the internet indicating that a confirmed case of Ebola was reported in The Bahamas,” Dr. Gomez said.

“I would like to make it completely clear that this posting is completely untrue. However, hospital officials did indicate that late Sunday night the US Embassy in The Bahamas responded to a call to rescue a very ill person on a freighter passing through Bahamian waters.”

While he denies that this was a case of the Ebola virus, Dr. Gomez acknowledged that a 34-year-old Ukrainian man was stricken with illness while on a freighter that was headed to New Orleans from the Congo, in West Africa.

“The patient was later transported to Nassau and taken to Doctors Hospital’s Emergency Room. He was placed in a single room in isolation,” he said. “All the necessary precautions were taken by all staff that attended the patient. Full infection control precautions were put in place and followed by all who attended the patient.

“The diagnosis of septic shock (that is, shock caused by an infection) was made. Treatment included intravenous fluids, antibiotics and pressor agents, that is, drugs to raise blood pressure. Further, blood studies done at Doctors Hospital confirmed a diagnosis of Malaria.”

That patient died Tuesday evening.

Dr. Gomez said that blood has also been sent to the Centres for Disease Control for further analysis.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.

There is currently no vaccine available against the virus.

Earlier this week US President Barack Obama called the virus a threat to global security and announced several measures including military assistance, to help curb the spread of the disease.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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