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Local Health Units preparing for worst case scenario – Ebola virus

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As the worst Ebola outbreak in history rages in West Africa, the Ottawa Citizen reports local health authorities have been quietly preparing for a case here. In May, Ottawa’s public health unit mentioned Ebola in a regular newsletter to local doctors, in a section called “Fever in the returning traveller.” Lately, they are more specific. Last week Public Health Ontario produced a fact sheet on what to look for in patients and how to handle them. This week, the unit is drafting a questionnaire its workers will use to identify anyone who has had contact with someone who might have Ebola, to chase down every possible case. In 38 years, Ebola has only ever sickened people in Africa. But if someone came to the emergency room at the Civic campus of The Ottawa Hospital with a fever, nausea and a tale of having just come back from Liberia — nobody wants the nurses and doctors figuring out what to do on the fly. As Medical Director of Infection Control at The Ottawa Hospital said, “We hope we’re preparing for nothing.”

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