Ebola Virus Disease

Further cases of EVD is not unexpected and highlights the importance of maintaining heightened surveillance in the coming months as the risk for additional small outbreaks remain.

In addition to the original chain of transmission, there have been a number of new small Ebola outbreaks (or ‘flares’) since March 2015. These appear to have been due to the re-emergence of a persistent virus from the survivor population. 

The transmission and occurrence of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has been greatly reduced so healthcare facilities should adjust screening practices for acutely ill patients and no longer need to screen patients specifically for Ebola virus disease. However, healthcare facilities should continue to obtain a travel history in triage before completing full patient evaluation so that infection control precautions and patient placement can begin promptly when appropriate.

Current recommendations for assessing acutely ill travellers from sub-Saharan Africa are to:

  • conduct a risk assessment,
  • place the patient in a private room with a bathroom until the risk assessment is completed and,
  • follow infection control protocols, diagnostic and treatment procedures based on symptom presentation.

On 29th March 2016, WHO declared that the Ebola situation in West Africa was no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Advice on international travel is available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Last updated: 1 April 2016

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