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#497279 - 10/26/14 10:35 AM Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry
Marty Offline
On Friday, October 17th, San Pedro Health Officer, Lisa Tillett hosted a small seminar on the disease Ebola, which has only recently appeared in the Western Hemisphere. Present at the seminar were representative from Maya Island Air, Tropic Air, San Pedro Water Taxi, Caye Caulker Water Taxi, San Pedro Water Jets Express, Belize Customs and Exercises Department, Belize Immigration Department, as well as several concerned citizens. The seminar was aimed at sensitizing the attendees on the disease and explain the need to screen visitors who are coming to the island from any point of entry.

Also known as the ďAfrican Hemorrhagic FeverĒ, Ebola first appeared in Africa in 1976 and is a filovirus that infects humans and primates. Ebola causes severe fevers and internal and external bleeding that, if not treated immediately and properly, results in death. While the disease has been classified as highly contagious, it can only be transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids from an infected person who is displaying symptoms or has fallen ill. The transmission can occur through a break in the skin, membrane or an open wound. Ebola has an incubation period of two to 21 days during which an infected person could seem healthy and display no symptoms.

As one of the most popular tourism destinations in Belize, Ambergris Caye sees an influx of people from around the world. As such, these travelers need to be screened for Ebola. ďItís better to be safe than sorry. That is what we need to understand, we are not here to scare anyone, but we need to take the necessary precautions. We need to start screening persons coming in from the airports and the water taxi terminals,Ē said Tillett. She also explained that persons handling travel documents should wear gloves to prevent the transmission of any disease. ďImmigration and customs officers should wear gloves when handling passports and other documents. Have healthy practices, cover your mouth when you cough, and bandage any exposed wound. If you are feeling ill, visit the polyclinic or your private doctor; donít wait until your symptoms worsen.Ē

According to Tillett, while there is no case of Ebola in Belize, it is still important for residents to practice precautions so as to ensure the safety of all Belizeans and its visitors. ďEbola would have a severe impact on our society, so we canít take it lightly. If this disease were to spread, it would affect our trading, agriculture and tourism industry. Schools and businesses would have to close. The disease brings with it a stigma and worsens poverty,Ē said Tillett. Ebola patients are isolated to prevent further infection to other health persons. There are no known vaccines for the disease.

To learn more preventative steps on Ebola or to find out what you can do to make your business a healthier environment contact Health officer Lisa Tillett at 226-2555 or 605-6495.

#497302 - 10/27/14 05:51 AM Re: Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry [Re: Marty]
seashell Offline
The gloves only protect the wearer if they don't touch their face, etc., while still wearing the gloves.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#497318 - 10/27/14 02:33 PM Re: Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry [Re: seashell]
Don Greife Offline
Wearing gloves seems to provide little protection from anything, including the common cold. I just returned from a fishing trip in SP and began to think about the vulnerability of all of Central America to the outspread of the disease, and just how prepared, or even equiped, the area is to deal with the first case. I wonder if denying visas to the west African countries might be a safer alternative. IE: If you wear gloves don't pick your nose.
I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.

#497322 - 10/27/14 05:33 PM Re: Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry [Re: Marty]
seashell Offline
Really Don, who would try to pick their nose with gloves on? It just doesn't work. And you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your friends nose.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Seriously though, how is Belize doing this testing? I'm coming from Newark through Houston. Newark is one of only five airports processing passengers from West Africa. Is this going to be a problem? So, how far does it go and how will it get done?

Here in New Jersey, a nurse returning from treating Ebola patients has been put into quarantine despite showing no symptoms and testing negative. She's quite irate about it and has hired a lawyer to fight her incarceration at the hospital. Says she feels like she's being treated like a criminal.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#497326 - 10/27/14 10:04 PM Re: Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry [Re: seashell]
klcman Offline
she has now been released, SS, and on her way to her boyfriend's home here in Maine. The gov's of NJ/NY, though appropriately concerned, blew this one.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#497327 - 10/27/14 10:07 PM Re: Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry [Re: Marty]
klcman Offline
no one has mentioned this as yet, but could this piggyback onto that oft commented argument for passenger manifests on the water taxis?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

#497358 - 10/28/14 06:20 PM Re: Ebola Screening at islandís port of entry [Re: klcman]
Don Greife Offline
The government of Australia announced that they will no longer issue visas to the affected west African countries. I hate to think of the consequences that would result from a report of the first case of the disease in Belize. IE: Who would visit the island, Who would leave the island, how soon would this shutdown take place and how would the GOB and the Belize medical profession deal with it? Hope it doesn't happen til after my December fishing trip.
I'll be happy to discuss my avatar with anyone who knows what it is.


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