AHS staff receiving training, equipment to deal with Ebola

More than 1,700 staff with Alberta Health Services have been trained to deal with Ebola and the training will continue, says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

More than 1,700 staff with Alberta Health Services have been trained to deal with Ebola and the training will continue, says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

Dr. James Talbot said while the risk to Albertans is low, the threat remains with ongoing outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“We’re not going to be completely safe until the disease is completely eradicated in those three countries. So this is a marathon, potentially, in which we’ll have to be alert for months until that situation is resolved in Africa, so the training is going to be ongoing.”

He said training has been happening around the province.

So far, Alberta has seen five or six possible cases that all turned out to be negative for Ebola.

Ebola causes hemorrhagic fever in humans and animals and can lead to internal bleeding and organ failure. It is often fatal.

Recently, a Fort McMurray work camp was closed by the operator and the medic on site isolated himself from others after a possible case was sent to hospital.

“We probably wouldn’t have done those things but it’s hard to criticize people from being overly cautious.”

Talbot said if someone did have Ebola, they would not be infectious until they developed a fever.

“Even when you have fever for the first couple of days, the viral load they carry is quite low. Usually the chance of a transmission is correspondingly low.”

In addition to training, enhanced guidelines are in place for rapid assessment and triage for patients with fever and care for seriously ill potential or proven Ebola cases. Guidelines have also been enhanced for infection, prevention and control in acute care and for waste management.

Ebola personal protective gear has been sent to the four acute care facilities in Edmonton and Calgary designated to care for suspected or confirmed cases, as well as regional and urban hospital emergency departments, urgent care centres and several additional facilities.

Talbot said it is most important that health-care workers have no skin exposed and take care when removing their gear to avoid contamination.

He said the outbreak in Africa has shown the importance of workers being alert and aware of their situation and surroundings.

They also need to be willing to look after an Ebola patient. At the moment, Alberta health-care workers can refuse to work with an Ebola patient, he said.

“The key thing is to make sure that the health-care worker is relaxed, is alert, is properly trained, properly protected and that they monitor things like their fatigue level. You really do want people involved in doing that on a voluntary basis.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month