In Brazil, a man has been hospitalized after exhibiting signs of Ebola, in what would be the first known case of the Ebola virus in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The World Health Organization has released that more than 4,000 have died from the Ebola virus outbreak so far.
The man suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus in Brazil hails from Guinea, one of the three countries in West Africa that has been hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. The Independent reports that though the only symptom he is exhibiting is a fever, he is being tested for Ebola as a precaution. The man, a missionary, arrived from Guinea on September 19 and reported having a fever on October 8. Since this threat of Ebola has been detected, Brazil has since stepped up security at its border ports for ships that sailed from West Africa, reports The Independent.
Though unconfirmed, the case of Ebola in Brazil has caught the attention of health officials within the region. In Guyana, a country neighboring Brazil, iNewsGuyana has reported that the country’s Minister of Health has issued a statement in response to Ebola having penetrated Brazil’s borders, saying that “Guyana does not have the ability to test or treat patients for the disease.”
Surveillance has been increased at all border ports, and doctors have been stationed there should a potential Ebola threat arise.
Other South American countries were more proactive, and have been on the lookout since the Ebola transmission was announced to be an international health emergency. Argentina has surpassed all others in their Ebola-response preparations. According to Breitbart, Argentina has set up “Ebola-only” hospitals should an outbreak occur.
Buenos Aires Minister of Health Alejandro Collia explained, “Specialty hospitals have already been designated and information has been distributed to medical teams on how to diagnose and treat a suspected case, how to prevent contraction [of the virus], and how to notify authorities of the presence of someone so gravely ill.”
In Latin America, teleSUR reported that Chile, Uruguay, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Mexico, and Venezuela have all made plans for a potential Ebola outbreak. In Uruguay, the first National Response plan for the “prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Ebola” has been developed.
Chuck Hagel, U.S. Defense Secretary, stated he will engage Latin American and South American leaders in discussions surrounding the threat of the Ebola virus within the region.
Mashable reported that on Wednesday, a Marine Corps General caused a stir when he expressed his view that if the Ebola virus reached Central America, the United States should be prepared for a mass migration from infected Ebola victims seeking health care.
“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katy bar the door,’ in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States.”
An Inquisitr article recently covered the threat illegal immigration could be to the United States in light of the Ebola outbreak.
The suspected Ebola case in Brazil will not be confirmed until Saturday. Latin American and Caribbean citizens, there is still hope yet.