Are Australian GPs ready for Ebola?

Monday, 13 October, 2014

Have Australian GPs been left out of Ebola planning? This question was raised in a comment on Medical Observer. Read the story here. Public health strategies are in place after being refined for pandemic influenza and can be adapted to manage Ebola in Australia. However, although there are protocols for GPs, communication seems to be minimal.

GP protocols are available at

Health care professionals (HCW) returning to Australia from the two Ebola outbreaks (West Africa and DRC) are the highest risk group for introducing the virus. However, establishing a monitoring system via telephone will be more effective than quarantining them (as suggested by Federal MP Bob Katter). Daily monitoring is safe since people infected with Ebolavirus only excrete virus when they become symptomatic. Hence, a monitoring system that detects early symptoms and signs will allow HCW to be rapidly checked for Ebola if they do become ill and isolated before excreting much virus.

THS Director, Rick Speare, was quoted in the Medical Observer article.

Rick Speare