Cairns nurse tests negative for deadly Ebola virus

THE CAIRNS nurse who travelled to West Africa to help Ebola patients has tested negative to the deadly disease.

Sue-Ellen Kovack returned to Australia at the weekend after spending a month volunteering at an Ebola hospital with the Red Cross in Sierra Leone.

The 57-year-old was admitted to Cairns Hospital yesterday with a low-grade fever.


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Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has stated initial tests taken the woman had returned a negative result for the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

Dr Young said the woman was likely to remain under observation for at least another 24-hours.

“This is a necessary precaution given the patient has been to West Africa and has had a fever within the incubation period of 21 days. For the sake of her health and to follow due diligence, we want to be sure she is clear of Ebola virus disease as well as any other disease.”

Dr Young said regardless of the outcome of the tests, the broader community was not at risk of contracting EVD.

She’ll still need to undergo three full days of negative testing to be completely cleared of the disease.

For anyone concerned about the virus or needing advice on how best to prepare for international travel to protect against vaccine preventable and other diseases, visit
http://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/immunisation/overseas/index.html

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