September 21, 2020

PAHO preps Caribbean for potential importation of Ebola/Ebola case confirmed in Glasgow hospital


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_78119518_ebola_viruses-splFrom GuyanaTimes

Although the United States is the only country to date that has registered cases of Ebola imported from the current outbreak in , countries in and the are working with support from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to prepare for the potential importation of the disease.

Ebola is a serious disease for which there is currently no vaccine or cure. In the current outbreak, it has a 50% fatality rate. Given that the possibility of an imported case in Latin America or the Caribbean cannot be discarded, PAHO/WHO has been working with its member countries to ensure they can respond rapidly and effectively if such a case appears. Below are highlights of these efforts during 2014:

Teams of experts from PAHO/WHO and partner organisations travelled to some 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to provide technical support as needed for Ebola preparedness efforts. Cuban healthcare workers received training from PAHO/WHO before travelling to West Africa to help with the Ebola response there. Ebola virus is transmitted through body fluids (feces, urine, saliva, semen) from an infected person who has symptoms of the disease. PAHO/WHO has trained medical and nursing professionals in the epidemiology of Ebola and in case detection and management. Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is the most important measure for preventing transmission to health workers assigned to care for Ebola patients. Experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Spain’s Carlos III Hospital in Madrid provided training for health professionals in how to put on and take off different types of PPE.

Caring for patients with Ebola requires special units that have been designed or adapted specifically for this purpose. PAHO/WHO has shared best practices and provided technical support to help countries establish Ebola isolation units. Medical and nursing professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean participated in simulation exercises on clinical management of Ebola patients organized by PAHO/WHO, together with experts with experience in handling these cases. Participants in the exercise are expected to train others in their own countries.

Experts in laboratory diagnosis and management of biological risks were convened by PAHO/WHO to analyze procedures for safe management of Ebola and suspected Ebola samples and to define protocols for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring. Clear and transparent communication by health authorities is critical for maintaining the public’s trust, managing anxiety and promoting healthy behaviors. Ministry of health staff responsible for communication received PAHO/WHO training in principles of communication with the public during times of serious risks to human health.

Reliable information

A website devoted to Ebola virus disease was launched by PAHO/WHO to provide reliable and updated information to health officials, health professionals and the public:

PAHO/WHO is working to mobilize resources in the form of direct funds and lines of credit to support country efforts to prepare for Ebola. Such efforts are an investment in public health preparedness in general, and especially for diseases that can have serious health, economic and social impacts. Experts from various PAHO technical areas have supported WHO’s response to Ebola in West Africa.

Controlling the outbreak at its roots is the top priority, both to save lives and to halt the disease’s spread. Efforts to prepare for the potential introduction of Ebola into Latin America or the Caribbean also help strengthen countries’ capacities to respond to other disease outbreaks and epidemics. The framework for these efforts is the International Health Regulations (IHR), an agreement signed by WHO Member States to promote an effective response to public health emergencies of international concern.

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Ebola case confirmed in Glasgow hospital

_79977095_hi025236355From BBC

Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital The woman is being treated in isolation at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow

A healthcare worker who has just returned from West Africa has been diagnosed with Ebola and is being treated in hospital in Glasgow.

The woman, who arrived from Sierra Leone on Sunday night, is in isolation at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital.

All possible contacts with the case are being investigated, including on flights to Scotland via Heathrow.

The woman will be transferred to specialist high level isolation in London as soon as possible.

At a news conference in Glasgow, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed that the risk to the general public was very low.

She added that the patient was thought to have had contact with only one other person since arriving in the city, but that all passengers on the flights the woman took will be traced.

Alisdair MacConachie, of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “She’s being managed in an isolation facility by staff who are comfortable managing patients in such a situation. She herself is quite stable and is not showing any great clinical concern at the minute.”

Nicola Sturgeon: Ebola risk ‘extremely low’

NHS Scotland said infectious diseases procedures had been put into effect at the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases at Gartnavel.

The patient returned to Scotland from Sierra Leone late on Sunday via Casablanca and London Heathrow, arriving into Glasgow Airport on a British Airways flight at about 23:30.

While public health experts have emphasised that the risks are negligible, a telephone helpline has been set up for anyone who was on the BA 1478 Heathrow to Glasgow flight. The number is: 08000 858531

The woman had been admitted to hospital early on Monday morning after feeling unwell and was placed into isolation at 07.50.

What are the symptoms?

Ebola viruses The Ebola virus causes a range of painful and debilitating symptoms

The early symptoms are a sudden fever, muscle pain, fatigue, headache and sore throat.

This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, a rash and bleeding – both internal and external – which can be seen in the gums, eyes, nose and in the stools.

Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.

A British Airways spokesman said: “We are working closely with the health authorities in England and Scotland and will offer assistance with any information they require.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and the risk to people on board that individual flight is extremely low.”

Ms Sturgeon has chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government Resilience Committee (SGoRR) and has also spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is to chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Monday evening.

According to UK and Scottish protocol for anyone diagnosed with Ebola, the patient will be transferred to the high level isolation unit in the Royal Free hospital, London.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Our first thoughts at this time must be with the patient diagnosed with Ebola and their friends and family. I wish them a speedy recovery.

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