September 18, 2020

Carnival Magic cruise ship confirmed safe from Ebola


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carnival_magic_slider1The U.S. Centers for and Prevention () has issued a public advisory confirming that the Carnival Magic cruise ship is safe to continue its normal operations cruising the Caribbean. Following its review of all of the evidence pertaining to the quarantined passenger, the concluded that “No passengers or crew were exposed to Ebola on the ship.” The also stated that “the ship was safe to use” and “there is no need to further screen disembarking passengers.”

Although the Carnival Magic has been given the all clear, the vessel was sanitized before leavings its home port in Galveston, Texas yesterday. The ship is expected to arrive in the later this week as scheduled.

Commenting on the incident, Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, Hon Moses Kirkconnell said that he was “pleased that tests on the healthcare worker had returned as negative, which meant that neither the ship nor its passengers had been exposed to the virus as originally feared.”

ebola-ban-300x189The Minister stated:

“Although this particular incident has been satisfactorily resolved, I would like to reassure the public that the Cayman Islands remains on high alert concerning the Ebola Virus and all of the relevant stakeholders and agencies are taking precautionary measures to ensure that our Islands are protected from exposure and remain free of the virus,” said Minister Kirkconnell. “In the case of the Carnival Magic, both the Galveston Country Health District (GCHD) and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control have issued advisories confirming that the ship poses no threat to passengers and the vessel has been cleared to continue its normal schedule. Additionally, even though no requirement for specialised cleaning was imposed on Carnival, the ship has been thoroughly sanitized out of an abundance of caution prior to commencing its next voyage.”

The Ministry of Tourism remained in close contact with Carnival for updates on the situation and has received assurances from the cruise line that “while the health and safety of our guests and crew are paramount, equally and foremost in our minds is the health and well-being of the citizens at the many cruise destinations we call upon.”

Expounding on the communication between the Ministry and cruise line, Minister Kirkconnell explained “We are advised by Carnival that as an additional precautionary measure, enhanced mandatory screening has been introduced for all passengers, visitors and crews boarding its vessels. All guests are required to submit to a series of health screening and travel history questions prior to embarkation and, if deemed necessary, will undergo further medical screening before being allowed to board. With these safeguards in place we are as confident as we can be about the safety of the ship and should have nothing to fear from welcoming the passengers and crew to our shores,” he continued.

Prior to the United States reporting its first case of Ebola in September, government officials from 13 agencies in the Cayman Islands were already working together to mitigate against the threat of the virus entering our shores.

Commenting on the collaborative approach, Minister for Health, Hon. Osbourne Bodden stated “I would like to reassure the public that we are taking all precautions for border control, and measures to combat potential risk will remain in place for as long as is necessary to ensure our Ports of entry are protected. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of all involved and particularly thank Dr. Kumar and his team at Public Health and Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Bruce Smith and his team from Immigration. We trust that our efforts will pay off, and these islands will not have to test the many protocols that have been put in place, in conjunction with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and others.”

Going forward, the public will continue to receive periodic updates on the global and regional situations regarding the threat of Ebola, as well as the Cayman Islands’ readiness to cope with any local outbreak, Minister Bodden assured.


  • The Ebola virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human   transmission. The first   Ebola virus disease   (EVD) outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa in the 1970s, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in West Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
  • Early supportive care with rehydration and symptomatic treatment improves survival rates.
  • There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
  • There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but two potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.
  • The incubation period, which is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days.
  • Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
  • First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

IMAGE: carnival magic

Related story:

US lab worker on Caribbean cruise tests negative for Ebola

From iNews Guyana

A cruise ship carrying a lab worker suspected of contact with Ebola returned to Texas Sunday, as US media reported the woman had tested negative for the deadly disease.

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital lab supervisor and her husband were the first passengers to disembark from the massive cruise ship, and were both screened by CDC doctors, local reporter Larry Seward said on Twitter, citing an executive with Carnival Cruise Lines.

Carnival spokesman Jim Berra told the Los Angeles Times that a helicopter picked up a blood sample Saturday and that the sample tested negative for Ebola.

The cruise company said it was going to aggressively clean and sanitize the vessel before the next trip, though the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had not said it was necessary, Seward added.

The health worker did not show any symptoms of the disease and voluntarily remained in isolation in her cabin out of “an extreme abundance of caution”, Carnival Cruise Lines had said in a previous statement.

But fears she may have been exposed to — and thus contracted — the virus that has killed more than 4,500 people in an outbreak centred in West Africa prompted officials in Belize and Mexico to rebuff the massive cruise ship.

It has now been 21 days since the unidentified lab supervisor, who may have handled clinical specimens from Thomas Eric Duncan, has been in the lab with the testing samples.

That is the accepted outer limit for the incubation period for the disease — meaning the time lapse between infection and the onset of symptoms.

Duncan, a Liberian man, was the first Ebola case diagnosed in the United States. He died on October 8.

The lab worker had left on the cruise ship out of Galveston, Texas on October 12, before the CDC updated its requirements for monitoring people who may have had contact with Duncan, according to the State Department.

Two Texas health care workers who treated Duncan have become infected with Ebola and are currently hospitalized in Atlanta, Georgia and Bethesda, Maryland. [AFP]

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