Although there have been dozens of suspected Ebola infected travelers tested in countries outside of Africa, thus far, none of them have tested positive for the virus. Although I’m not attempting to keep track all of these media reports, for the best day-to-day coverage, I would highly recommend checking in with Crofsblog several times a day.
Despite our current lucky streak, governments around the world are understandably preparing for the day when an Ebola infected traveler does arrive on their shores. Our own CDC continues to release copious guidance on the issue, which you can access here.
With more than 7 million residents crammed into just 426 sq miles, and more than 36 million visitors each year, Hong Kong’s Centre For Health Protection takes infectious disease threats very seriously, a lesson well learned from the SARS epidemic of 2003 (see SARS And Remembrance).
Today the CHP launched their own Preparedness and Response plan for Ebola, which is patterned after similar plans previously drafted for Avian Flu and MERS-CoV (see Hong Kong Unveils Their MERS-CoV Preparedness Plan).
There have been no imported cases of Ebola detected in Hong Kong to date, either in humans or animals, and so currently, the Alert Response Level (low risk to the public) is activated.
20 August 2014
The Government today (August 20) announced the launch of the Preparedness and Response Plan for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The Plan sets out the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government's preparedness and response plan in case of an outbreak of EVD.
"The EVD Plan ensures that when EVD may have a significant public health impact on Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government would be equipped with the core capacities to prevent, detect, characterise and respond quickly, efficiently and in a co-ordinated manner to the EVD threats in order to reduce mortality and morbidity," a spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health remarked.
In the EVD Plan, a three-tier response level, which is adopted for the preparedness plans of influenza pandemic and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is used. The three response levels, namely Alert, Serious and Emergency, are based on the risk assessment of the EVD that may affect Hong Kong and its health impact on the community.
The EVD Plan includes comprehensive response measures, clear command structures, and mechanisms for the activation and standing down of response levels. It also serves as a tool for clear communication of the level of risk with the public. Relevant agencies, companies and organisations should take note of this plan in devising their contingency plans and response measures.
In accordance with the EVD Plan, the Alert Response Level is activated with reference to the current epidemiological situation.
The EVD Plan has been uploaded to the CHP's EVD page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/34199.html).