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Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (iWN photo)
Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (iWN photo)
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The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has commended the Ministry of Health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on its “timely collaboration with the Agency in the management of a traveler from Nigeria with fever”.

There was an Ebola scare at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown last week as a Nigerian students checked into the Accident and Emergency Department of the healthcare facility.

Tests conducted locally and by CARPHA concluded that the student had malaria, a mosquito-borne illness.

Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr. C. James Hospedales, said that because of the Ministry’s actions his agency 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

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situation was assessed to determine the likelihood of EVD in the patient, CARPHA said in a statement.

“The CARPHA Incident Management Team and the Chief Medical Officer of St. 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,” CARPHA said.

“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 St. Vincent and the Grenadines on January 28th, confirming the diagnosis of malaria for this patient. The turnaround time for the entire process, from notification to return of result, was under 48 hours,” CARPHA said.

The regional health agency say it 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.