|EOT Spar arrives in Port Canaveral, Florida from Sierra Leone on November 7, 2014. Credit: Brevard Times |
PORT CANAVERAL, Florida — A cargo ship that came directly from an Ebola-stricken African nation arrived in Port Canaveral around 9 a.m. on Friday, November 7, 2014.
The U.S.-flagged EOT Spar left Freetown, Sierra Leone on October 19, 2014 and arrived in Port Canaveral twenty days later – one day within the incubation period of 21 days for Ebola symptoms to appear.
According to the U.S. Center’s for Disease Control, the 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history. Sierra Leone is one of only three nations were the entire country is afflicted by the Ebola outbreak.
The crew aboard the EOT Spar is self-monitoring for symptoms within the incubation period and are required to report any symptoms to the U.S. Coast Guard, FOX 35 reported earlier this week.
Port Canaveral is home to several cruise ships, but the EOT Spar is not docked near those cruise ships.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. The average fatality rate is around 50%.
The virus was originally transmitted to people in Africa from non-human primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) and then spread into the human population through human-to-human transmission.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history. There have been cases reported in the U.S., Spain, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Although some cruise ships have a ship’s registry in West Africa, this does not neccesarily mean that the ship has recently traveled to West Africa.
There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola.
The CDC recommends the following tips to prevent Ebola contamination:
- Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
- Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from non-human primates.