Health workers attend to patients that contracted the Ebola virus at a clinic in Monrovia

Health workers attend to patients that contracted the Ebola virus at a clinic in Monrovia

Health ministers reassure Canadians about Ebola

Health ministers meeting in Banff reassure Canadians about Ebola after U.S. case

  • Sep. 30, 2014 5:00 p.m.

By Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Canadian health leaders moved to reassure the public Tuesday that the discovery of a case of Ebola in the United States does not change the assessment of the risk of the disease in Canada.

U.S. officials announced that the first case of Ebola diagnosed on North American soil had been identified in Dallas,Tex. The unidentified man recently travelled to the city from Liberia, becoming sick four days after he entered the U.S.

Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial health ministers meeting are meeting in Banff, Alta., on Wednesday, and had gathered in advance of that meeting.

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said the Canadian public should know this country’s hospitals have some of the best infection control measures in the world in place.

“We are all deeply concerned about what is going on in the U.S.,” Hoskins, a family physician, said in Banff.

“It is important to reassure Canadians — North America is not West Africa. We have right across this country, in every province and territory, we have extremely effective infection control measures in place and protocols.”

Hoskins said surveillance for possible Ebola cases by public health officials has been heightened and health providers across Canada are being made aware of how to recognize and deal with any suspected cases.

Canada’s new chief medical officer of health also insisted this country has been preparing for the possibility of imported Ebola cases.

“Canada is well prepared with a number of systems in place to identify and prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases like Ebola, such as working closely with our international partners to gather and assess information and administering the Quarantine Act at all points of entry into Canada,” Dr. Gregory Taylor said in a statement.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada is working closely with its provincial and territorial partners and the agency’s National Microbiology Laboratory is well connected with its network of provincial labs to ensure Canada is ready to detect and respond quickly.”

British Columbia’s chief medical officer of health said a number of provinces have already had some practice with suspected Ebola cases, having identified and investigated people who returned from West Africa with illnesses compatible with the early stages of Ebola. So far all these cases have turned out to be false alarms.

Dr. Perry Kendall said it is possible this country too will see imported Ebola cases, given the ongoing outbreak in West Africa. But he said he was confident health systems here could contain the virus.

“If Nigerians can manage to contain it, I’m pretty sure Canadians can,” said Kendall, referring to the fact that Nigeria appears to have halted a chain of transmission that began there with an imported case in July. An infected man from Liberia travelled to Lagos for a conference, developing symptoms during his travels. Nigeria recorded 20 cases — and eight deaths — before the outbreak was done.

The World Health Organization says that so far nearly 6,600 people in West Africa have been infected in this epidemic and nearly 3,100 have died. A recently published modelling study produced by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control projects that between 550,000 and 1.4 million people could be infected by late January, if the response to the outbreak is not scaled up dramatically.

___

With files from The Canadian Press’s Edmonton bureau.

Just Posted

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Graeme Wright is the owner of Hullabaloo, a new ice cream and coffee food truck serving patrons at the Red Barn on West Saanich. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff).
VIDEO: Cool treats, warm bevvies a specialty for new Saanich food truck

Hullabaloo owner Graeme Wright passionate about blending green space with sustainability

The closure of Government Street to vehicle traffic between Humboldt and Yates streets began June 11. The corridor will be pedestrian-only between noon and 10 p.m. daily until at least this fall. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Downtown Victoria timed closure of Government Street begins

Pedestrian priority times part of city’s Build Back Victoria program

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read