Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Archived - Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on the first case of human to human transmission of Ebola in the United States

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Risk remains very low

October 12, 2014

The first case of human to human transmission of Ebola in the United States was confirmed today by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A Texas health care worker who provided care for the recently deceased case with a travel history to Liberia has tested positive for the virus.

While our thoughts are with the individual and their family as they deal with this situation, I want to reassure Canadians that the risk has not changed and remains very low.

We are in close contact with our partners in the US and the provinces and territories, and have strong systems in place to detect and respond to any cases that might arrive in Canada.

This past week we strengthened our border measures as an added precaution, effective immediately, all travellers identified as having arrived in Canada from an affected West African country will now be referred to a Public Health Agency of Canada quarantine officer for a mandatory health assessment.

Quarantine Officers have the necessary training and equipment to conduct a health assessment, including checking for fever, and determine whether additional public health measures are required.

Through this screening, we also continue to educate international travellers on what to do if they get sick to protect themselves and others.

In addition, our hospitals in Canada have 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 continues to share Ebola-specific guidance with our provincial and territorial health partners to strengthen infection control practices in hospitals.

I want to take this opportunity to remind Canadians that the Ebola virus does not spread easily from person to person, it is not like the flu. It is spread through direct contact with an individual with symptoms; not through casual contact.

We will continue to work with our national and international partners and assess whether additional measures are needed to protect Canadians.

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Public Health Agency of Canada
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