Nigerian students not isolated or quarantined, says Barbados chief medical officer

JoyStJohn-2Bridgetown, Barbados (BGIS) — A number of Nigerian students, who are currently being accommodated at a hotel in Babrados, have been neither isolated nor quarantined, said chief medical officer, Dr Joy St John, who confirmed that one of the students presented with a case of scabies on January 9, and is receiving the requisite treatment.

All of the other students have been examined by medical personnel from the ministry of health and have been cleared.

According St John, scabies, a fairly common infestation of the skin, caused by a mite, is not classified as a highly infectious disease and there was therefore no need for either isolation or quarantine of persons.

She explained that isolation occurs when a patient is exhibiting signs of an infectious disease and under treatment. Quarantine is employed for any individual who has been exposed to a highly infectious disease, but is not exhibiting any symptoms.

“Neither isolation nor quarantine is required under the current circumstances,” stressed St John.

Scabies is normally transmitted by direct skin to skin contact. Indirect transfer from garments or bedding can occur only when these items have been in contact with an infected person.

The incubation period is two to six week after exposure to an infected person. The mites are easily destroyed by the laundering and sanitizing of infected items, as well as the application of a cream to the skin.

Meanwhile, the assurance has been given by the Prime Minister’s Office that government, through its various agencies, will continue to work towards a speedy resolution of other non-health issues being encountered by the visiting students.

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