Man tests negative to deadly Ebola virus

UPDATE: A 27-YEAR-OLD man who was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital with suspected symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus has tested negative to the disease which has killed more than 2000 in Africa. 

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young tonight confirmed the news which follows comments from doctors earlier in the day that the patient was “exceedingly unlikely” to have the disease based on his symptoms and the areas in Africa in which he travelled to.

“I would like to thank all health and ambulance staff involved in the management of this patient; it was a job well done and serves to show the community that our emergency preparedness plans are sound, and that they can rely on their health services,” Dr Young said.


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“I also thank the media for helping to allay the fears and hype in the community – it was a very important message for us to convey.”

As the news broke of the suspected case on Thursday morning, there were reports of people cancelling their Queensland holidays and checking out of their Gold Coast accommodation early with some even pulling their children out of school.

Dr Young said while it was highly unlikely Ebola virus disease would come to Queensland, anyone who has travelled to parts of West Africa affected by the outbreak and who are concerned about their health, should visit their GP.

Dr Young said the treating team at the Gold Coast University Hospital would ultimately determine the patient’s treatment options based on the results and his current condition.

Earlier today, Health Minister Peter Dutton took the time to commend the way in which Gold Coast Health handled the situation.

“Emergency and health workers on the Gold Coast should be praised for their professionalism in dealing with a suspected case of Ebola virus disease today,” Mr Dutton said.

“Their actions showed Australia’s preparedness and ability to deal with a health threat such as Ebola.

“Queensland Health was quick to institute well-established protocols and processes to deal with the threat.”

Information on Ebola virus disease can be found on the Federal Department of Health website.

For advice on how best to prepare for international travel to protect against vaccine preventable and other diseases, visit the Queensland Government immunisation website.

UPDATED 5PM: Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has called for calm after a 27-year-old man was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital with the suspected Ebola virus disease (EVD).

Dr Young said Queensland Health had heard concerning reports of unnecessary hype and fear circulating in the community.

Reports on social media and calls to 13 HEALTH suggest people were cancelling holidays to Queensland, checking out of their Gold Coast accommodation early, and even pulling their children out of school.

“The community needs to know that there is an extremely low risk of contracting Ebola, regardless of whether this man’s test results come back positive or negative later this evening.”

“Ebola virus disease is not a highly contagious disease like the ‘flu or a cold; it requires direct exposure to an infected person’s bodily fluids such as blood, vomit or faeces, during the time they are infectious.

“Importantly, this patient doesn’t have a fever which is one of the first signs of Ebola virus infection, so it is very unlikely that he has Ebola virus from his history of where he’s been and also his symptoms.

“So there is absolutely no need for people to panic for any reason.”

“The response by paramedics and hospital staff was excellent; they wore appropriate personal protective equipment, Gold Coast University Hospital immediately isolated him in a single negative pressure room, and he’s remaining there at the moment, so I think everything’s been done appropriately.”

“It is a credit to them for how well it was handled.”

Dr Young said preliminary contact information was being collected in the unlikely event the test results, which are not expected back until later this evening, were positive for Ebola virus disease.

“We are keeping him in isolation and of course checking for other diseases as he was feeling unwell so it’s important we make sure his health is ok.”

Further information will be provided once it comes to hand.

UPDATE: THE Minister for Health Peter Dutton has released a statement on today’s Ebola scare on the Gold Coast, commending health workers on their professional approach.

“Emergency and health workers on the Gold Coast should be praised for their professionalism in dealing with a suspected case of Ebola virus disease today,” Mr Dutton said.

“Their actions showed Australia’s preparedness and ability to deal with a health threat such as Ebola.

“Queensland Health was quick to institute well-established protocols and processes to deal with the threat.

“The patient who had previously travelled to an Ebola affected country was isolated, overseen by infectious disease experts with necessary tests quickly initiated.

“Queensland Health is awaiting the results of those tests, the patient remains isolated, with initial clinical assessments that it is exceedingly unlikely the patient has Ebola.

“Today’s incident though shows that our emergency services and hospitals are well trained, prepared and equipped to deal with such threats.

“I want to commend the health workers on the Gold Coast for their professional approach.

“While Ebola is a very serious disease, it is not highly contagious. Ebola is not influenza. It is not caught through coughing or sneezing. It is only transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of a symptomatic infected person or animal.”

UPDATE 12pm: QUEENSLAND health officials say a man rushed to a Gold Coast University Hospital almost certainly has not contracted the Ebola virus.

The 27-year-old just returned from West Africa and reported a fever, prompting the response.

Doctor john Gerard said there is no risk to the staff or public at this stage.

“We have a established protocols for dealing with these patients,” he said.

“Bloods have been collected from this individual and they will be tested for Ebola virus disease.

“We are hoping for results some time this evening.”

UPDATE: GOLD Coast Health say it’s unlikely a patient has contracted the Ebola virus.

The Southport man continues to be monitored in isolation in Gold Coast University Hospital, after fears he may have contracted the deadly disease.

According to a statement from Gold Coast Health the “Initial clinical assessment suggests it is exceedingly unlikely that the patient has Ebola Virus Disease but he is being isolated in accordance with national guidelines.”

There’s reports he had been very unwell since returning from a trip to West Africa a couple of days ago.

The patient will continue to be monitored and we will have more details when they come to hand.

EARLIER: THERE’S reports a man’s been rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital, suspected of having the Ebola virus.

Gold Coast Health Chief Executive Damian Green has confirmed a patient has been transferred to Gold Coast University Hospital after being identified by paramedics as having symptoms of Ebola virus.

Gold Coast Health say they’re taking necessary precautions and has isolated the patient who is currently been assessed.

They’re assuring the public they have processes in place to safely manage such circumstances. Universal infection control procedures are in place and there is limited risk to patients and staff.

Further information will be provided as clinical assessments are completed.

The 24-year-old Southport resident’s reportedly been ill since returning from West Africa two days ago. The virus has killed over 2000 people in Africa.

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