Two young children are being tested for a range of infectious diseases, including Ebola in Melbourne

February 26, 2015 9:54 am

The children, both aged under 10, were admitted to ’s Royal Childrens Hospital today.
They are being tested for a range of infectious diseases, including the Ebola virus, a spokeswoman has confirmed.

A healthcare professional at Auckland City Hospital, where staff have been trained for possible treatment of an Ebola infection. Photo / NZ Herald
A healthcare professional at Auckland City
Hospital, where staff have been trained for possible treatment of an
Ebola infection. Photo / NZ Herald

The results of the test will be known later today.
No further information was given about the children being tested.
The spokeswoman said trained specialists were caring for them.
“Specialist
medical staff are caring for the patients, using the procedures and
equipment in which they have been trained,” the hospital spokeswoman
said in a statement.

“The safety of staff and the community is paramount.”
A Victorian Health Department spokesman told the Sydney Morning Herald the children had flown in to from overseas today.
The country of origin was unknown.
The
children were taken to hospital for testing after the “standard
screening processes” at Melbourne airport found the children had high
temperatures, the spokesman said.
In a later statement, the
Victorian Health Department said the initial clinical assessment
suggested it was exceedingly unlikely the children had the virus.
The
department also said the broader community was not at risk of
contracting Ebola – regardless of whether a patient had the virus.
“While
Ebola is a very serious , it is not highly contagious as it
cannot be caught through coughing or sneezing,” the department’s
statement said.
“The risk of infection is extremely low unless
there has been direct exposure to the bodily fluids of an infected
person or animal (alive or dead).”
The Royal Children’s Hospital
is designated to provide care for children under 16 for assessment and
management of patients suspected of a viral haemorrhagic fever such as
Ebola.
Ebola has claimed more than 8600 lives in West Africa since the latest outbreak began last year.
There have been no confirmed cases in New Zealand or so far.

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