Ebola scare shows Australia's health strategy working

The Ebola scare on the Gold Coast in Australia showed that Australia was well prepared to manage a potential case of the deadly virus, experts said.

A 27-year-old man was isolated at the Gold Coast University Hospital today amid fears he had contracted Ebola.

He had recently returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo and had since been seriously ill.

According to doctors, it was unlikely that he had the virus that had killed over 2,200 people in West Africa over a period of six months.

A federal Department of Health spokesman said, Australia had robust border protection systems and its infection control mechanisms in hospitals were first-rate. The testing of the patient in Queensland was an example of the country's national health strategy working well, he added.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) held weekly discussions on the Ebola outbreak and local and national response arrangements. Specific guidance had been issued by state and territory chief health officers for hospitals, paramedics, general practitioners and state-based quarantine and medical staff, he said.

Emergency departments and doctors across Australia had been reminded to be alert for Ebola in patients with fever and travel history in affected areas in the 21 days before the appearance of symptoms.

Meanwhile, the man who fell seriously ill after returning from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland about 7.40 am by paramedics wearing full protective gear, Xinhua reported.

According to a statement by Damian Green, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service acting chief executive the man was put into isolation at the hospital.

"Gold Coast Health can confirm a patient has been transferred to Gold Coast University Hospital after being identified by paramedics as having symptoms of Ebola virus," he said.

The Ebola outbreak in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria has taken a toll of 2,200 lives from over 4,200 infections.