Haiti denies any Ebola cases in the country

Haitian health authorities have denied reports of several cases of the deadly Ebola virus in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

The Ministry of Public Health in a statement denying the reports said that on October 11, it was alerted to the presence of a passenger from a country where some regions are facing an outbreak of Ebola.

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It said it was also alerted on the same day to the arrival of a second person coming from a country bordering the country where the outbreak was declared.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare but severe, often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. .

The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

So far the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has surpassed 1,000 cases this year.

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A woman ailing with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo being treated by healthcare worker
(Photo: caritas.org)

The Ministry of Public Health here said that following the two alerts, a team consisting of the Epidemiology, Laboratories and Research Branch of the West Health Directorate, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant departments of the Ministry had been deployed to the airport.

It said that the first passenger, a woman, was located, interviewed and examined and had no signs or symptoms in relation to Ebola and does not represent any epidemiological risk for her or the country.

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The Ministry of Public Health said that the second passenger did not travel to Haiti.

But the Ministry noted that a third person neighbouring the country of the outbreak arrived in Haiti and according to the recommendations of the International Health Regulations after questioning and observation, it was concluded that the person was not even a “suspicious case even less a confirmed case of Ebola virus disease.”

The Ministry said it also wanted to remind the population that to date, no case of Ebola haemorrhagic fever has been spotted and reported in Haiti and is urging the public to keep calm while criticising persons who use social media to spread false reports about the Ebola virus in Haiti.