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Caribbean test site for Ebola

Published:Friday | October 10, 2014 | 10:00 AM

The United States' Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will be the main lab that Jamaica will use to test for the Ebola virus, should the country have any suspected cases.

Acting permanent secretary in the ministry of health, Dr Kevin Harvey, said all samples taken would be sent to the CDC, which will also assist Jamaica with reviews of protocols for the collection of blood samples and their transportation.

The Pan American Health Organization will also provide guidelines on the collection, storage and transportation of samples, including guidelines for the deactivation of the virus to ensure safety for any lab staff handling it.

"As it is now, the turnaround time that we expect - in terms of taking the sample, transporting it and getting back the results - can fall anywhere within three to seven days," noted Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse, acting chief medical officer.

The Canadian Public Health Agency is another option available to test for the disease.