NEWS

Canada's Ebola response gets fresh test in Nova Scotia

10/19/2014 04:30 EDT | Updated 12/19/2014 05:59 EST
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Nova Scotia has been chosen for a second test of Canada’s response to Ebola.

On Sunday, a team from the federal Public Health Agency arrived to brief health-care providers on the techniques they will be reportedly practising on Monday should a confirmed case of Ebola arrive in Canada.

“Drills, dry runs, and practising are important to ensuring that our teams are able to respond without hesitation in the event of a case of Ebola,” Health Minister Rona Ambrose said in a news release.

The agency says if a case of Ebola is ever confirmed in Canada, one of the five Ebola rapid response teams would work with local health authorities to prevent its spread.

Each team comprises a field epidemiologist, an infection control expert, a bio-safety expert, a laboratory expert, a communications expert and a logistics expert. Aircraft are stationed in Winnipeg and Ottawa.

On Monday, the team from Ottawa will work run through Ebola protocols with local health officials, including the proper way to put on and take off protective gear and how to handle laboratory protocols.

The public health agency says it's prepared to send vials of Canada's experimental Ebola vaccine to any affected hospitals.

Dr. Rob Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, says the risk of an Ebola case remains low in the province.

Nevertheless, he said, "we have been working with partners across our health system and across the country to ensure we are prepared for this or any other infectious disease."

The government conducted a smaller exercise on Friday in Ottawa to determine whether the team can quickly assemble the proper gear and equip an aircraft.

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