Mater Hospital ready for outbreak
Ireland is ready to deal with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, says the HSE.
As well as having specialists trained in managing tropical diseases and the use of the National Isolation Unit in the Mater Hospital, there are contingency plans in place if a case is detected here.
If someone arrives at a GP practice or a hospital with a fever of more than 38.6C and has travelled from an affected area within the previous 21 days, an assessment must be immediately carried out, and a special Ebola form will be filled out by an emergency medical consultant or a senior member of the medical team.
No matter where you are in the country, if help is needed an infectious disease consultant is currently on-call in the Mater to assist with this assessment.
After this step, if the person is deemed as having a "high-risk exposure", the Department of Public Health needs to be notified immediately.
The local microbiologist or infectious disease doctor must also be contacted.
Then if the patient is showing other symptoms other than just the fever, they need to be transferred to the isolation unit in the Mater immediately.
Symptoms can include unexplained bleeding, headaches, abdominal pains, diarrhoea and organ failure.
If the person is "medically stable", transfer to the unit will be arranged at that stage.
The National Isolation Unit will also be contacted. The Department of Public Health will be notified then if a positive result is found. And after this point the department will launch a public health action.
The patient must be kept in a single room.
And medical staff are advised to wear gloves, a fluid-repellent surgical face mask and a long-sleeved fluid-repellent gown as well as goggles or a visor.
The HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre is producing up-to-date information on Ebola for the public and health professionals at www.hspc.ie.