Some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Health Ministry has asked all the general public hospitals to carry out internal drills over the next two weeks to prepare for the eventuality of handling patients suspected of infection with Ebola fever and treating them while keeping them isolated. After that, the ministry will send officials randomly to make surprise checks to see that they are doing it properly.
Ministry director-general Prof. Arnon Afek told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that in addition to handing out flyers at Ben-Gurion Airport to incoming passengers who may arrive from West Africa -- where Ebola is raging -- the hospitals would also have to be prepared. At the airport, travelers coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would be asked about their health and where they had been. The ministry is considering the possibility of obtaining infrared cameras, or if not, disposable thermometers, to check incoming passengers for fever.
Someone with fever could, however, have a bad cold or the flu, so they would be examined carefully. In addition, Ebola fever patients do not immediately develop a fever after exposure through blood and bodily liquids. Each of the hospitals has experts in infectious disease prevention and will brief emergency room staffers on what to do.
Afek said the ministry has issued directives to all the health fund clinics and urgent care clinics in the community not to handle patients from the three West African countries who come with complaints of a fever but to send them immediately to the nearest emergency room.