the 'Docs on the Docks' - Galways Friendliest Medical Centre
Ebola in Ireland
The following is the most up-to-date information we have on management of the Ebola threat in Ireland. Risk of Ebola infection in Ireland is thought to be low and this information is not intended to scare anyone. However, Ebola is a serious disease and deserves to be taken seriously, no matter how safe we think we are.
Dealing with a patient suspected of having Ebola in the general practice setting
A. If a patient contacts your surgery by telephone
GP surgeries and Out of Hours Centres can telephone triage suspected cases using the following questions:
Has the patient recently returned from one of the countries affected by Ebola within last 21 days (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia or Nigeria)?
Do they have a fever >38.6 C (or history of fever)?
Do they have a history of significant exposure to Ebola?
The following questions help decide if the patient had significant exposure to Ebola.
Has the patient:
Had close face to face contact (e.g. within 1 metre) without appropriate personal protective equipment (including eye protection) with a probable or confirmed case who was coughing/ vomiting/ bleeding/ had diarrhoea?
Had direct contact (without appropriate personal protective equipment) with any material soiled by body fluids from a probable/confirmed case of EVD?
Been identified as a contact of a probable or confirmed case?
Had unprotected sexual contact with a case up to three months after recovery?
Had a percutaneous injury (e.g. with a needle) or mucosal exposure to bodily fluids, tissues or laboratory specimens of a probable or confirmed case?
Participated in funeral rites with direct exposure to any human remains (not just those of a probable/confirmed case) in/from an affected area without appropriate personal protective equipment?
Had direct contact with fruit bats / rodents / primates, living or dead, in/from affected areas, or bushmeat?
If you feel there is a high risk of Ebola then the patient should be advised to remain at home and to isolate themselves from others pending assessment. The GP can then contact their local Emergency department triage at their nearest designated hospital (a list is available for download below) to inform them that they have a suspected patient with Ebola and make appropriate arrangements for the patient to be medically assessed in hospital.
The GP can also contact their local public health department hot line numbers for further advice if required at:
01-635 2145 office hours 021-420 9848 out of hours
057-935 9891 office hours 057-935 8165/6 out of hours*
061-48 3338 office hours 087-669 9114 out of hours
046-9076412 office hours 086-6062537out of hours
071-985 2900 office hours 087-953 7807 out of hours
056-778 4142 office hours 1890-499 199 out of hours*
021-492 7601 office hours 021-420 9848 out of hours*
091-775 200 office hours 094-906 3000 out of hours*
*Out of hours contact Public Health via this ambulance control number.
This is a great article by David Robert Grimes in the Irish Times today. Explains in plain English the difference between 'screening tests' and 'diagnostic tests', the limitations of screening for disease, what 'false positive' means and more, in the context of the CervicalCheck scandal....