As you may have seen, various media outlets have reported on a possible Ebola case at one of our hospitals.  The message that we sent at the end of yesterday was necessary because someone within the hospital had used social media to say that there was a possible case at UHN which meant that we needed to let everyone know what was happening before they heard misinformation from a news outlet. 

Here are the facts:

  • There is a protocol to be followed if a patient has a travel history to the affected countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria) within the past 21 days and has symptoms such as fever, vomiting or bleeding.  The case then becomes suspected Ebola as a matter of precaution and further protocols must be followed.
  •  The further protocols require that all staff are trained and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working with the patient, that the patient be placed in isolation, that a test for Ebola be submitted and that precautions continue until such time as Ebola has been ruled out, symptoms resolve themselves or a diagnosis of another illness is confirmed.
  • These protocols are designed to protect our staff, our patients and visitors to the hospital.  In the coming months there will be occasions at UHN and at hospitals throughout the GTA where such protocols are put into effect.  UHN has been working on our response for some time and – in this case – the response has been completely according to protocol and everyone working with the case has been professional, caring, trained and prepared.
  • In all cases, the precautions are lifted when we are convinced that there is no risk that a  patient has Ebola and we will always err on the side of caution during this protocol.
  • For those who would like to see more information about our preparations, please visit http://intranet.uhn.ca/departments/infection_control/ebola_preparedness.asp on the intranet.  
  • For people who would like more safety information or training opportunities , we encourage you to contact Infection Prevention and Control, Emergency Preparedness or Occupational Health & Safety.  These groups can arrange for a variety of refresher courses, mask fit testing or can answer any questions or concerns.
  • The information that we have released about this patient is that the travel history is from Nigeria, the patient had a fever and the patient is in isolation at Toronto General.  No other information about the patient will be released at this point in time.
  • We do not know when we will have the results of the Ebola test but expect that it will be later this evening.  When we have that result, we will inform UHN staff and members of the media through an All Users.
  • In the judgment of our clinical team, IPAC and Tropical Medicine we are virtually certain that this patient does not have Ebola but we are awaiting results of the tests before discontinuing the use of PPE and isolation.
  • Share This Story

    Share Tweet Email