Medics pass Ebola-readiness test

Take note – story published 9 years ago

The state Emergency Medical Assistance Service (NMPD), Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC), and the Latvian Infectology Center (LIC) at Eastern Clinical University Hospital (RAKUS) launched a surprise training on Riga’s medics this week to see how well prepared for a possible Ebola virus outbreak the nation’s health care establishment is.

In order to keep the simulation as close to reality as possible, only the training coordinators from the above institutions were informed of the drill.

An NMPD dispatcher fielded the call to assist a 29-year-old man who had symptoms of high body temperature and new complications and properly passed it on as a possibly dangerous virus to be responded to by informing RAKUS, LIC and the SPKC. The nearest NMPD brigade was sent to the scene in individual protective gear to transport the patient to the LIC.

According to the NMPD Medical Qualifications and Training Center head Dzintra Jakubaņeca, “this was the first practical training exercise coordinated by several medical establishments to see how prepared we are to give urgent care to someone suspected of possibly having the Ebola virus infection.”

“You must remember Ebola is but one of many dangerous infections that potentially threaten humans. In these cases it is critical to be sure how well-coordinated the work of the various institutions is, how precisely and appropriately each urgent-care worker, structural unit and agency acts to reduce the threat to public health,” she added.

Meanwhile on Friday the BBC reported that World Health Organization and UN special coordinator David Navarro expressed cautious optimism at the apparent slowing of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, with only 99 new cases of infection reported last week.

An experimental vaccine will also be tried out on 300 medical-care workers in the field in the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, where more than 9000 lives have been lost to the terrifyingly deadly disease.

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