Friday, October 10, 2014

Colombia: Three Airline Passengers from Africa Detained for Ebola Screening

According to The Latin American Tribune, Colombia’s health minister said on Friday (October 10) that authorities placed under observation three air passengers coming from Africa showing no symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus, two of whom were declared in good health while the other undergoing tests.

“These three people, two coming from Liberia and one from Sierra Leone, have been given a strict follow-up with their temperatures taken twice a day,” Colombia’s Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria told a press conference in Bogotá.

The minister said that after 21 days, the maximum time for showing symptoms of an infection, two of the people were analyzed and found to be in good health.

“The third person is still within the 21-day time frame, but up to now has not shown symptoms of anything,” he said.

Gaviria referred to the suspicion of a possible Ebola case in Brazil, about which he said that, unlike the travelers coming to Colombia, “one of the people there was diagnosed with fever,” and underscored the need to “be very strict” in maintaining health controls on the borders.

The minister said that Colombia is taking the necessary measures, first, of information, and then of the procedures to follow if some case of the virus should turn up in this country.

COMMENT: “Starting today we’re distributing a poster telling people what the mechanisms of contagion are, and assuring them that the infection is not in the air, nor in the water, nor in food, in order to avoid panic,” he said.

Gaviria recalled that the cases of active transmission of Ebola are occurring in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.

The health minister said that Colombia does not receive a lot of travelers from those countries, and those that do come “are employees of the oil industry in Senegal and Nigeria.”

He also said that controls are being installed in the airports where arriving passengers are asked where they got on the plane, and if some say Africa, they will immediately be given a medical exam.

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