ebola plans in place in derry

Altnagelvin Hospital.
Altnagelvin Hospital.

Emergency and infection control staff at Altnagelvin and other hospitals within the Western Trust now have plans in place for how to deal with an outbreak of Ebola, it’s been confirmed.

As the first cases of the killer virus have been confirmed in Europe in recent days, The Western Trust have said that meetings are currently taking place on how to deal with any suspected cases, should they arrive.

A spokesperson said: “The Trust is currently holding regular meetings on our preparedness to respond in the event we receive a patient with suspected Ebola.

“The meetings are attended by a multi-disciplinary group of people, including staff from Emergency Medicine, Infection Prevention and Control and Support Services.”

The statement from the Trust comes at the same time as the Public Health Agency reassured members of the public that the risk remains low to people here, while emphasising that ‘robust’ plans are in place to deal with a potential situation.

Dr Lorraine Doherty, Assistant Director of Public Health (Health Protection) at the PHA, said: “Although the risk to the public in Northern Ireland is very low, there is a potential risk for volunteers and healthcare staff working in affected countries, especially if involved in caring for Ebola patients.

“However, if the basic precautions that would apply in all humanitarian situations are applied and the general principles of infection control are adhered to, the risk can be minimised.

“The overall risk of Ebola in Northern Ireland remains low.”