Dominica steps up Ebola screening

Nurses will be placed at ports of entry as Dominica step up screening for Ebola
Nurses will be placed at ports of entry as Dominica step up screening for Ebola

Health authorities in Dominica say they are putting more measures in place to screen for the deadly Ebola virus although the risk of entry remains low.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson, said the Health Ministry is to focus on the island’s port of entry with public health nurses being placed there.

Furthermore a number of isolation sites have been identified in case someone with the disease enters Dominica.

“In terms of our port of entries we are stepping up our screening,” he said. “On our main port of entries, we have the presence of health officers who works very closely with the immigration officers. As part of our plans we will be stepping up presence with public health nurses at our ports of entry.”

He mentioned that an ‘alert card’ is to be put in place and very soon running graphic images of the disease will be on monitors at the airport.

He stated further that a number of educational sessions on the disease have already been held for healthcare providers.

“Educational sessions in terms of what is Ebola and how it is transmitted and how it is managed,” Dr. Johnson said. “We also have a structure set up, a monitoring committee that is made up of stakeholders from the Ministry of Health. We also have persons from agriculture, the Ambulance and Fire Services, Police and Dominica Air and Seaport Authority. So we have a broad stakeholder mechanism.”

He stated that one of the critical components of planning for Ebola is being able to identify a suitable isolation area for those infected.

“We have identified a number of sites. We cannot say, as we speak, that we have everything in place in terms of an isolation unit,” he stated. “One of the critical areas we need to address is to ensure that there is access to the other resources.”

Dr. Johnson noted that since Dominica does not have direct flights from any of the countries where the virus is occurring, the risk of entry is low.

“The risk of a sick person traveling on a flight is also low,” he stated. “Given the sought of flight arrangement that we have from affected countries, we don’t have an international airport and a lot of the travelers pass through a second and even a third country, so it is very unlikely that someone who is sick with the Ebola virus would actually come to Dominica through direct flights.”

According to him, the health department is in direct contact with World Health Organization (WHO) which gives updates on the virus.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever, is a severe, often fatal illness. Up to nine out of every 10 people with the infection die. There are no licensed specific treatments or vaccine available for use in people or animals. The time between acquiring an infection and showing symptoms and signs varies from two to 21 days.

The virus is highly infectious and is spread by person-to-person transmission through direct contact with bodily fluids or secretions of infected persons including blood, sweat, urine or faeces.

Symptoms include; fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, external bleeding and rash.

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18 Comments

  1. September 9, 2014

    I agree with the person who indicated that travellers from certain affected areas should be disallowed. If we have artists coming from Nigeria we should disallow entry to them as a precaution and not an insult. Nigeria has suspended their school opening until October; so they understand the severity of the problem. Air France and British Airways has canceled flights from the affected area. so Dominica should protect its citizens in what ever way it can. I would hope that major precautions and screening are implemented at the airports in those areas affected.

  2. Foreign
    September 9, 2014

    Good to see that my country has an Ebola Preparedness Plan AT THE PORTS OF ENTRY to screen these suspected cases. One of the most important things we must have is a designated isolation area with a bathroom at all ports of entry. The patient is now to be on droplet, contact and standard precautions in a private room/area. Secondly I live in New York, work in a hospital. I take a flight to Dominica via Puerto Rico. Patients are not infectious during incubation which is 2-21 days. My onset of symptoms starts while I am going throught immigration/ or just starting to get a fever low grade.. Dr Johnson the risk is low right. Be prepared to screen all passengers entering the country by asking basic triage questions and pray. Post signs with symptoms to alert passengers. until your screens are updated.

  3. Anonymous
    September 9, 2014

    So imagine a person coming from Africa not yet showing the disease because it is in the incubation stage. They travel to London where they infect the baggage handler, passport attendant, and those sitting in their aisle just because there hands are sweaty. Then they get to the UK and have to change flights. They eat while in transit at a restaurant at Gatwick. They move the chair, touch the table, fork, knife, and the credit card holder to pay. 10 more infected. then they get to Antigua, and again have to change. and finally they get to Dominica where the have mingled with people for another 2 weeks before showing any signs. By then how many people are infected? The only way is to cancel flights as some of the airlines had done.

    • Anonymous
      September 9, 2014

      Ebola is spread by touch while still in incubation stage? why oh why do we embarrass ourselves on DNO is it because we anonymous? Alas.

  4. mindful
    September 9, 2014

    Is the ENVIROMENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT, in the fore front of the screening process, I know they cover public health more than any other department and they have skilled personnel in that regard!!!!! thank you

  5. September 9, 2014

    Dear DAHMAN stop the disrespect.Here’s a like or a dislike button you can always use that if you wish but stop that.People around the world are reading these comments.Am so sick of all the disrespect for each others comments.

  6. Anonymous
    September 8, 2014

    The advantages of not having an international airport :-D

  7. September 8, 2014

    very good at least we did not wait for the infection to come in before acting very good.

  8. Anthony Ismael
    September 8, 2014

    If the incubation period is 21 days, the lack of an international airport in Dominica will not prevent an infected person from entering the country.

  9. God take charge
    September 8, 2014

    Dr David Johnson, : :?: :twisted: :oops:

  10. Dr. No
    September 8, 2014

    I applaud the efforts of Dominica’s health authorities at screening for Ebola. However, Dr. Johnson’s argument regarding our lack of an international airport and that it is unlikely an infected person could get to Dominica on a direct flight does not hold water. We must note that the incubation period of the disease is 21 days and an infected person could get here from West Africa in about 3 days. Also, are our frontline medical personnel and border control officers equipped with the recommended Bio-hazard suits. We may need to call on Dr. Ettienne at PAH0 for some assistance.

    • dady
      September 8, 2014

      well said!

    • Dr. No
      September 8, 2014

      *** Ooops… the incubation period of the disease can be as long as 21 days

  11. Morihei Ueshiba
    September 8, 2014

    Dem Fellas talking about plagiarizing look who copying St.Lucia. Copy Cat Country.

    • September 8, 2014

      You sound stupid, st.lucia didn’t started first idiot it seems to me u were isolated some where in the jungle without a radio or tv idiot.

    • Anonymous
      September 9, 2014

      That copycat thing really hurt UWP bobo we. Look the Lucian trying to save face for lennox but even if u allow ur friend to copy your work its still plagiarism. :mrgreen:

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