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HSE issues guidelines on Ebola for medics

It IS critically important that healthcare workers coming in contact with suspected Ebola cases are trained in the use of the protective kit they must wear, new guidelines urge.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has issued guidelines on the personal protective equipment to be used in acute hospitals in suspected or confirmed Ebola virus scenarios.

All hospitals have been issued with this equipment, according to the HSE.

The virus is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids.

"If an exposed person becomes infected with Ebola virus, it may take up to 21 days for symptoms of infection to develop," the document stated.

risk

The level of personal protective equipment that should be worn depends on the outcome of a risk assessment - there are two levels of personal protective equipment.

The current epidemic sweeping across west Africa has now killed 6,128 people.

The total number of reported cases is in excess of 15,000.

However, difficulty in collecting data means that the figure could be higher.

A "pretend patient", simulating the symptoms of the deadly virus, was at the centre of a major exercise at the Mater Hospital in Dublin in October, to test its preparedness for an outbreak.

fdillon@herald.ie


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