NEWS

Health officials test preparedness for Ebola outbreak in New Brunswick

01/23/2015 09:37 EST | Updated 03/25/2015 05:59 EDT
FREDERICTON - Federal and provincial health officials conducted exercises in Fredericton on Friday to test New Brunswick's ability to respond to an outbreak of Ebola.

Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada's chief public health officer, said there's little chance of the virus arriving in the province from West Africa, but that health workers need to prepare just in case.

"Canada is fortunate to have a flexible, nimble model for rapid Ebola response," Taylor said in a statement. "The government of Canada continues to work closely with its partners in health to ensure we are as prepared as possible in the event of a first case."

About 45 health officials were testing components of the province's public health response, including communication, biosafety and laboratory response.

New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, recently returned from Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where she helped deal with the Ebola outbreak. She said New Brunswick and Canada are well prepared if a case of the virus was to arrive here.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau said the province and Ottawa have to work together in addressing a possible domestic case. He added that New Brunswick donated $425,000 worth of surplus personal protective equipment to the World Health Organization in October.

"Planning and preparedness for a possible first case of Ebola in New Brunswick or Canada requires federal, provincial and territorial collaboration," said Boudreau.

The exercise is the latest in a series of meetings and exercises between the rapid response team and provincial and territorial health officials.

MORE:cpNews