Fraser hospitals screening for ebola, will isolate any victims in Surrey

Several suspect cases ruled out so far, but officials think virus likely to arrive in B.C.

Technicians in West Africa handle ebola test samples in negative-pressure biological safety cabinets.

Fraser Health officials are confident they’ll be able to safely isolate any ebola patient that arrives in the region at Surrey Memorial Hospital and prevent any secondary spread of the disease ravaging West Africa.

Health care workers in the region have already intercepted a number of suspected ebola cases but then ruled them out following secondary screening, said Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, Fraser’s executive medical director for infection prevention and control.

Those patients weren’t tested because it was determined from their answers to questions that they had not been to the specific areas where the virus is circulating.

“We obviously had no confirmed cases but we did have a number we had to evaluate,” Brodkin said. “Half a dozen perhaps so far. People come back to Canada from Africa every day. So it’s really inevitable that we’re going to see people who have been to that part of the world who have a fever.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall has also predicted B.C. may see a few cases of ebola arrive from Africa, similar to the first confirmed ebola case in the U.S. that was announced Tuesday in Texas.

“Given the size of the outbreak in west Africa and given how easily people travel  around the globe, it is certainly possible that we will see a real case at some point,” Brodkin added.

“The risk to British Columbians is extremely low. Even if a true case actually arrives I have every confidence that that case will be quickly isolated and managed in a way that means there would be no secondary spread or outbreak in British Columbia.”

All patients who arrive at Fraser hospital emergency departments with a fever are being asked about their travel history and they’re taken to isolation areas for further secondary questioning if they indicate they’ve been in west Africa in the last 21 days – ebola’s incubation period.

The virus can only be spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a patient who has symptoms.

Asked why Surrey Memorial was chosen as the potential regional ebola containment site, Brodkin said the new critical care tower there has state-of-the-art infection control.

“We can safely isolate any patient in a room in that tower and be able to provide care to them while at the same time protecting the health care workers who are looking after them and other patients who may be on the unit or in the tower.”

She said the ability to quickly diagnose cases and, in particular, to safely isolate them is what is missing in Africa, fueling the ebola outbreak there.

The deadly virus has killed more than 3,200 people in West Africa – close to half of those who contract it.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

More people in Chiliwack coming in to shelters to get out of the cold

Ruth and Naomi’s went over-capacity this week to accommodate shelter guests coming in from the cold

Chilliwack Chiefs visit Kent Elementary

Grade 6 students got a chance to visit with, and play hockey against, some local hockey celebrities

Agassiz break and enter suspect arrested

The Chilliwack man faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Outdoor rink, lagoon improvements on the agenda for Harrison

The projects are intended to increase tourism numbers and infrastructure in the resort village

Look at the latest: Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

Don’t let the new day fool you, there’s still lots to do for Family Day in Agassiz and Harrison

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Most Read