Using the EVD Investigation form
Contact the patient’s doctor to:
- Confirm the onset date and symptoms of the illness
- Confirm results of relevant pathology tests, or recommend that tests be done in accordance with local laboratory referral protocols
- Find out if the case or relevant care-giver has been told what the diagnosis is before beginning the interview
- Inform the doctor that public health staff will be contacting the patient/next of kin/carer
- Review case management including infection control measures being used in caring for the case.
Interview the case or care-giver to:
- Complete the exposure history and other sections of the EVD Investigation Form
- Identify close contacts according to the contact definition.
Follow-up patient’s contacts to:
- Assess risk of EVD transmission
- Determine current symptoms, if any
- Explain symptoms and need to immediately report any new symptoms
- Explain to healthcare worker close contacts any need for work restrictions during the potential incubation period if there has been exposure
- Provide an EVD Disease Factsheet and recommend any self-monitoring for relevant contacts.
Operational considerations for contact tracing
- Define contact tracing team members and relevant roles and responsibilities
- Define circumstances where contact tracing will be done by telephone or in person
- Consider need for dedicated call centre and scripts in response to a notified case
- Formalise the process for the management of contact surveillance data.
Training for contact tracing team
- EVD transmission
- Rationale for contact tracing
- Training in use of contact interview form and explanation of fact sheets, including if/how jurisdictions will recommend restrictions for contacts of confirmed cases
- Infection prevention and control measures for contact tracers, including use of PPE, and instructions for use of thermometers if face to face interviews or assessments are conducted
- Contact listing sheets, case and contact interview forms
- Temperature logging forms for contacts
- Information/fact sheets for contacts
- Consideration of thermometers supplied to contacts, or advice on which thermometers to use
- If face to face contact tracing or assessments are conducted, consider need for alcohol-hand rub, supply of PPE– disposable gloves, P2/N95 masks, gowns, goggles; and guidelines on when to use / put on PPE; general guidance for conduct during home visits such as no physical contact with people or objects at location, maintain > 1 metre distance from individuals, don’t enter the residence)
Policy for health monitoring of contact tracers
- Consider the need for temperature monitoring in the event that face to face contact tracing is required and symptomatic contacts are encountered.
- Notify central jurisdictional communicable disease control agency and Chief Human Quarantine Officer.
- Central communicable disease control agency to notify Commonwealth Department of Health, Office of Health Protection.
- Consider need for media release and designate a media spokesperson.