What is Ebola?

  • 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.
  • The Ebola virus is not found in Australia.
  • 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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Global situation

  • There is an EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • As of 13 August 2019, 2842 EVD cases, including 1905 deaths, have been reported in the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces.
  • Three cases were exported to Uganda in June but there have been no further cases identified outside of DRC.
  • On 17 July, WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations.
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NSW Ebola plans

  • 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.
  • The NSW Viral Haemorrhagic Fever Contingency Plan describes how imported cases of EVD would be safely managed to prevent outbreaks.
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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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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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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

  • NSW Health Pathology's Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead Hospital has a high security lab which can safely test for Ebola virus.
  • Ebola testing is done according to national and international testing guidelines.
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Current as at: Friday 16 August 2019
Contact page owner: Communicable Diseases