Western Cape Government Health is Geared for Ebola
Statement by Theuns Botha, Western Cape Minister of Health
Western Cape Government Health has a contingency plan in place for the Ebola virus. Tygerberg Hospital is dedicated to contain the virus, should there be an outbreak here, in conjunction with Communicable Disease Control, Port Health Services and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), said the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha.
The dedicated hospital for treatment of a suspected viral haemorrhagic fever case (e.g. Ebola) is Tygerberg Hospital. Suspected VHF cases seen at other hospitals in the Western Cape will be managed and treated in consultation with the Infectious Disease Specialist / VHF consultant at Tygerberg Hospital.
The dedicated hospital will be able to detect and manage suspected cases. A national and provincial alert was issued in April 2014 to ensure that Port Health and healthcare workers are able to detect suspected Ebola haemorrhagic cases.
The risk of Ebola haemorrhagic fever cases being imported into South Africa is low, however surveillance for viral haemorrhagic fevers must be ensured. Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected persons. A detailed travel history and level of contact with suspected / confirmed Ebola haemorrhagic fever cases is imperative.
A provincial alert circular was issued in April 2014 on the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in West Africa indicating the risk of imported cases, case definition and reporting of suspected cases.
The department has infectious disease specialists at Tygerberg and Groote Schuur Hospitals that are equipped to manage and treat suspected viral haemorrhagic fever cases.