However, The Standard has also learnt yesterday that the Medical Research Council had admitted a patient from Guinea where the virus claimed the lives of at least 83 people.
“Because she was coming from Guinea, she was treated as a suspect. A test was conducted on her and the diagnosis was sent to Dakar. They are awaiting the results,” our source said.
Contacted, Mr Jallow said his ministry was not aware of this case. “If the ministry has this information, they will contact the MRC and see what’s next. There’s a task force formed to monitor the situation.
“Any traveler coming from any of the affected countries is screened by health officials stationed at the borders. They look at their body temperature, and if their temperature is high, they take them to an isolated place where they are put under the care of the medical personnel who observe their condition for a while before they leave. Even after that, for surveillance purposes, they take the address and other details of the place they would reside here in The Gambia.”
Mr Jallow said there was no cause for alarm in The Gambia, but he cautioned that people should apply good personal hygiene.
The health official advised: “People have to be vigilant in the sense that they should not run away from one another but apply preventive measures. Key among them is personal hygiene. This is important. Second, let’s stop touching urine, vomit, blood or anything that comes from human body with bare hands. And we should avoid travelling to places where there is Ebola.”
Meanwhile, as we were about to go to press last night, the Ministry of Health issued a press release stating that “due to the active surveillance system the ministry has put in place, two people who travelled from one of the affected areas in Guinea (Macenta, a town in southeastern Guinea, 295 miles from Conakry) have been traced by the surveillance network.
Although their clinical signs are not specific for Ebola, they are being treated in an isolation ward and all standard infection control measures are being observed. The Ministry of Health does not want to take any chances. So their samples have been taken for investigation in the regional reference laboratory in Dakar to rule out Ebola infection. Contact tracing and follow-up are ongoing.”
The ministry said it has reactivated existing emergency preparedness and management structures and networks throughout the country.
In a further development, the minister of health, Dr Omar Sey, late last night, confirmed to this paper that the test results of the two quarantined people who recently travelled from Guinea, proved negative.
By Sainey Marenah]]>