Canadian health leaders are working to reassure the public that the first case of Ebola diagnosed on North American soil does not change the risk of the disease in Canada.
Chief Medical Health Officer for Northern Health, Dr. Sandra Allison says it is important to understand the transmission of Ebola.
“Somebody who is sick with Ebola is going to be very dramatically sick; there’s going to be a lot of blood and body fluids…That is the transmission method, you have to come in direct contact with someone who is very sick with Ebola to actually get Ebola. People that are incubating Ebola and are not symptomatic, are not contagious. As long as you’re using hand-washing to prevent all other infections, I think that people are very safe to continue as the risk to Canadians and people who live in BC is low.”
Allison adds that health authorities do have action plans in place should Ebola surface in Canada.
“We have the resources for applying universal precautions…So we wear masks and gloves, and should somebody be identified we’re very well organized in ensuring that they’re placed into isolation and then we can jump into action in public health and identify contacts right away so we’re able to get to that individual and really narrow in on other people who might be at risk.”
Ebola has claimed at least 3,300 lives in West Africa.