Each NSW Local Health District (LHD) has in place a contingency plan for the assessment and management of patients with an increased possibility for a VHF infection who present. Detailed guidance is provided in the NSW Health Guideline (GL2016_002) NSW Contingency Plan for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers.
Collection, packaging and transport of VHF specimens
Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (such as EVD) are classified as Infectious Substances Category A (UN 2814). Collection and handling of specimens from patients categorised as Increased possibility of EVD or Confirmed EVD for EVD or routine testing are described in the NSW Health Guideline (GL2016_002) NSW Contingency Plan for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers(see Appendix 6), and in the associated guidance for:
The Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead has a high containment (PC4) laboratory equipped to test for the Ebola virus in patients categorised as Increased Possibility of EVD or Confirmed EVD. This PCR test for Ebola takes about four hours once the specimen has been received at ICPMR.
Recommendations for laboratory procedures in local and reference laboratories are given in the NSW Health Guideline (GL2016_002) NSW Contingency Plan for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (see Appendix 7) and in the National Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN) guidelines .