UPDATE: QUEENSLAND Health has confirmed a nurse is being assessed at the Cairns Hospital by infectious disease experts.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the 57-year-old woman had recently returned to Queensland after spending one month in Sierra Leone helping treat Ebola patients as part of the Australian Red Cross.
“The patient is being assessed for a range of infections including Ebola Virus Disease and has been isolated and being managed in accordance with recommended infection control procedures for EVD as a precaution,” she said.
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“As recommended by national guidelines, this patient has been isolating herself at home and checking her temperature twice daily since her return and today has reported an elevated temperature of 37.5 degrees.
“Importantly, she has reported that while in Sierra Leone strict Personal Protective Equipment procedures were followed at all times and were not breached at any stage.
“However, as her temperature does demonstrate a low-grade fever which can be symptomatic or Ebola virus disease, all neccessary precautions are being taken.
Dr Young said test results were due back either late tonight or early Friday morning.
“The broader community is not at risk of contracting Ebola regardless of whether this health care worker has the disease or not.
“While Ebola is a very serious disease, it is not highly contagious as it cannot be caught through coughing or sneezing; a person is not infectious until they are unwell with the disease.
“The risk of infection is extremely low unless there had been direct exposure to the bodily fluids of an effected person or animal such as blood, vomit or diarrhoea.”
MORE TO COME.
EARLIER: QUEENSLAND Health will soon hold an urgent press conference over fears a woman may have contracted the deadly Ebola virus.
The woman, believed to be aged 57, is currently being assessed in Cairns Hospital in relation to an infections disease.
Further details are expected to be released at a 3pm press conference to be headed by Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.
MORE TO COME.