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The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has commended the efforts of Ministry of Health officials in St Vincent following an Ebola scare over the weekend.

Official reports confirm that officials there were able to activate their Ebola containment and management plan in dealing with a traveler from Nigeria who was exhibiting signs of a fever.  

The organization’s Executive Director, Dr C. James Hospedales, said CARPHA was able to receive the relevant sample and return a result within 48 hours.

Although Nigeria is not one of the countries currently affected by Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the situation was assessed to determine the likelihood of EVD in the patient.

The CARPHA Incident Management Team and the Chief Medical Officer of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, jointly reviewed the details of the case, applied the guidance of the CARPHA EVD risk assessment process and determined that this case did not meet any of the criteria for Ebola Virus Disease.

Other possible diagnoses were considered and a sample was sent to CARPHA for verification of Malaria infection. The sample was received at the CARPHA Laboratory on January 27th and results returned to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on January 28th, confirming the diagnosis of Malaria for the patient.  The turnaround time for the entire process, from notification to return of result, was under 48 hours.

CARPHA looks forward to providing ongoing support to its Member States as the Agency continues to strengthen preparedness to prevent the introduction of EVD in the Region.
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