Statement Article from
Archived - Statement from Dr. Gregory Taylor, the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, on the Ebola Outbreak in Africa
While Canada and its international partners provide support to respond to the tragic Ebola outbreak ongoing now in Africa, I want to reassure Canadians that the risk to Canada is very low.
The Ebola virus itself does not spread easily from person to person. It’s not like the flu. It’s spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids, not through casual contact.
We also have a number of systems in place in Canada to identify and prevent the spread of serious infectious diseases like Ebola, as well as provide ill patients with the best possible care.
We have comprehensive procedures in place at our borders to identify sick travellers arriving in Canada. These are set out in the Quarantine Act, which is administered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at every point of entry into Canada.
The Act requires travellers to report to a Canada Borders Services Agency agent if they are ill upon arrival. As well, airlines and airport authorities are required to report ill travellers arriving on international flights to Quarantine Officers.
Quarantine officers are vigilant in their surveillance of travellers who are ill, including those showing signs of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, or other indications of an infectious disease. These officers have authorities under the Act to take action to protect the public.
In addition, our hospitals in Canada have sophisticated infection control systems and procedures in place that are designed to limit the spread of infection, protect health care workers, and provide the best care possible for the patient. To support these systems, the Public Health Agency has a series of infection control guidelines that are used by health care institutions across the country.
We encourage any Canadians travelling abroad to consult the Travel Health Notice on the Ebola outbreak available on the Public Health Agency of Canada website.
We also recommend that any healthcare professionals or other Canadian responders coming back from areas in which the Ebola outbreak is active monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days. If any symptoms occur, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
We are working closely with our provincial and territorial partners in health and have our National Microbiology Laboratory well connected with its network of provincial labs to ensure we are ready to detect and respond quickly in the unlikely event that a case arrives in Canada.
Canada is committed to supporting our international partners and remains the second largest donor to the Ebola crisis response. The Government of Canada has committed $1.41 million to date, and is providing Public Health Agency of Canada experts to the World Health Organization to assist in the on-the-ground response.
We continue to monitor developments closely and will keep Canadians informed.
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
Public Health Agency of Canada
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