News

24-11-2014

EBOLA VIRUS

 

If you are a returned traveller from West Africa and have developed a fever you are advised to call the dedicated Ebola hotline on 1800 186 815 and NOT to present to your GP surgery.

 

The Office of Health Protection (OHP) has now released updated advice on the evaluation of patients with possible Ebolavirus disease (Ebola). The advice also provides important reassurances on the chances of Ebola making it to Australia and on the current measures that have been put in place to contain any outbreak.

 

According to the OHP, it is very unlikely that a febrile patient in primary care will have Ebola. The risk of infection is very low even in persons with a compatible travel history, unless there has been direct exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected person.

 

Unlike diseases like tuberculosis or measles, Ebola is not an airborne virus. It can only be spread by direct contact between broken skin or mucous membranes and the blood or body fluids of an infected person or animal.  It cannot be caught by breathing air in proximity to a person with Ebola.

 

Arrivals from West Africa number approximately 10 per week. All travellers will be given two new cards on arrival; one (Travel History Ebola Information) listing the West African countries involved and the second (Ebola Identified Traveller) alerting the traveller of any symptoms occurring within 21 days of arrival and advising the action/telephone numbers to call.

 

If a returned traveller develops symptoms after entry into Australia, they are advised not to contact their GP, but rather to call the dedicated national Ebola hotline, 1800 186 815.

 

For further information visit the Health Dept website as below

 

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-ebola-Information-for-the-Public

 

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-ebola-Fact-Sheet-Ebola

 

 

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