Info for the community and travellers

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a rare, severe and often fatal illness that occurs almost exclusively in some countries in east, central and west Africa.
  • EVD is usually spread through direct contact with people who are sick with the infection, or contact with their blood or other body fluids.
  • The Ebola virus is not found in Australia so there is no risk of acquiring the infection here.
  • People who travel in a country affected by Ebola need to heed travel warnings and minimise their risk of exposure to the virus.

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Info for General Practice

  • GPs need to remain alert to the possibility of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in sick travellers.
  • Consider EVD in patients who report fever AND a history of travel to an area affected by an Ebola outbreak within 21 days of illness onset OR contact with a known EVD case.
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Global situation

  • An outbreak of EVD reported by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August 2018 is on-going in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, located in the eastern part of the country.
  • An Emergency Committee convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 17 October concluded that the risk of global spread was low and recommended that a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) should not be declared.
  • However, the Committee emphasized that response activities need to be intensified and ongoing vigilance is critical, both in DRC and in neighbouring countries.
  • Follow the link below for more information on EVD outbreaks from WHO.
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Info for hospitals

  • Local health districts ensure that their hospitals are prepared for patients who may have Ebola.
  • NSW Health emergency departments have prepared for EVD cases and conduct training in personal protective equipment.
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NSW EVD preparedness

  • NSW Health is prepared to identify and manage cases of EVD and prevent transmission to others.
  • NSW Health is notified immediately if anyone arriving from overseas shows signs of EVD.
  • NSW Health has a VHF contingency plan to ensure cases of EVD or other haemorrhagic fevers can be safely treated and outbreaks prevented.
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Info for public health units

  • NSW Health has trained surveillance officers in public health units across the state.
  • If a case of EVD is found in NSW, surveillance officers will identify all those they have had contact with, provide information about EVD symptoms, and monitor to prevent any spread of infection.
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Info for laboratories

  • The Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead Hospital has a high containment (PC4) laboratory equipped to test patients suspected to have EVD .
  • National Public Health Laboratory Network guidelines are available to advise on the conduct of EVD testing.
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Page Updated: Thursday 18 October 2018