Carnival Ship Returning to Port After Dallas Health Worker Quarantined

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 17, 2014

Above: Carnival Magic

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Caribbean had its first Ebola scare on Thursday night when it was discovered that a lab technician who may have handled Ebola samples at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital was on board.

The worker’s presence was discovered when the Carnival Magic ship was off the coast of Belize.

The lab supervisor is not showing symptoms of the virus but has been quarantined on the ship.

“The government of Belize was contacted today by officers of the US Government and made aware of a cruise ship passenger considered of very low risk for Ebola,” Belize’s government said in a statement. “The passenger had voluntarily entered quarantine on board the ship and remains free of any fever or other symptoms of illness.”

While the United States Embassy in Belize asked to transport the worker to the airport for a return to the United States, Belize’s government did not agree to the request.

The ship’s next scheduled stop was in Cozumel on Friday, but the Mexican government denied clearance to the ship to dock.

It is now returning to port in Galveston, Texas.

A number of Caribbean countries, including Belize, have now prohibited travelers from Ebola-affected countries in Africa from entry, along with similar prohibitions on anyone who has visited those countries in recent weeks.

Carnival has a stated policy of denying entry to any passengers or crew who have visited Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea within 21 days of a cruise departure date.

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