The Ebola virus
Ebola virus disease is a serious, usually fatal, disease for which there are no licensed treatments or vaccines. But for people living in countries outside Africa, it continues to be a very low threat.
The current outbreak of the Ebola virus mainly affects three countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Around 28,500 cases and more than 11,200 deaths have been reported across these countries (up to 13 Oct 2015) by the World Health Organization.
This is the largest known outbreak of Ebola. So far, there have been just four imported cases of Ebola in the UK. Experts studying the virus believe it is highly unlikely the disease will spread within the UK.
We have also been involved in the development of guidance for the safe transportation, moving and handling of patients with suspected VHF, including Ebola, and continue to play a key role in training staff in the correct and safe use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Ebola – brief facts
Ebola is a viral haemorrhagic fever. It is not particularly infectious and cannot be caught by being in the same room or sitting next to someone – you would have to be in direct contact with infected body fluids to risk catching Ebola.
Patients are not contagious in the early stages when they only have a fever. They are most infectious once they have developed multiple organ failure, which is when the virus is in its most advanced stages.
At present, Ebola does not affect people from the whole of West Africa, it is ONLY those travelling from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
CMO Prof. Dame Sally Davies on the low Ebola risk in the UK
A series of infographics have also been published for sharing online:
Further useful resources:
NHS England front line staff information can be found here, and NHS England information posters about Ebola are here.
PHE’s video on how Ebola contact tracing works is here.
Ebola: overview, history, origins and transmission from Gov UK.
Evening Standard Editor reports on how the NHS is ready to tackle Ebola.
View the NHS Choices online resource here.
Guidance from the RCN can be found here.
The World Health Organisation have published Global Alert & Response (GAR) resources here, as well as an Ebola Factsheet.
The Health and Safety Executive (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013: guidance for employers and employees is available here, as well as COSHH information here.
For more information:
For more information about communications and training materials produced specifically for the ambulance service and the wider NHS, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.