Tests amid Ebola fears on ship

Published: Sunday 19th October 2014 by The News Editor

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The US Coast Guard has retrieved a blood sample taken from a health care worker who is being monitored for signs of Ebola while aboard a cruise ship.

Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said a crew flew in a helicopter yesterday to meet the Carnival Magic and lowered a basket of supplies.

The Dallas woman provided a blood sample, which has been taken to a state lab in Texas for processing.

Mr Kendrick said the decision to take the sample was made in coordination with the federal, state and local health authorities.

US government officials said the passenger handled a lab specimen from a Liberian man who died from Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital earlier this month.

Officials said the woman poses no risk because she has shown no signs of illness for 19 days and has voluntarily self-quarantined on the cruise ship.

They have been seeking ways to return the woman and her husband to the US before the ship completes its cruise today.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that when the woman left the US on the cruise ship from Texas on October 12, health officials were requiring only self-monitoring.

Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement that the woman, a lab supervisor, remained in isolation “and is not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew”.

The ship was refused clearance to dock in Cozumel, Mexico on Friday, a day after Belize refused to let the passenger leave the vessel.

There have been no restrictions placed on other passengers aboard the ship, officials said.

The cruise line said that after not receiving clearance, the ship left Cozumel waters shortly after noon on Friday, with the goal of returning to its home port of Galveston as originally scheduled.

Published: Sunday 19th October 2014 by The News Editor

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