Lifestyle

Stepping up to stop Ebola in its tracks

FRONT LINE: Former Ballina resident and epidemiologist Barbara Telfer is working to fight the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as part of Doctors Without Borders. INSET: A medical worker spraying people being discharged from the Ebola treatment centre in Liberia.
FRONT LINE: Former Ballina resident and epidemiologist Barbara Telfer is working to fight the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as part of Doctors Without Borders. INSET: A medical worker spraying people being discharged from the Ebola treatment centre in Liberia. Ap Inset Image

EPIDEMIOLOGIST Barbara Telfer is at the forefront of the Ebola crisis.

The former Ballina resident is working in the rural Foya district in northern Liberia as part of the Doctors Without Borders team working tirelessly to manage the deadly outbreak.

It's Ms Telfer's fourth mission, having spent almost two years working in Kenya and two missions to Mozambique - all in response to HIV and emergencies.

Her days begin with a 7.30am meeting with the health promotion and outreach team to prioritise the day's activities based on new admissions and data received overnight.

If a patient is admitted overnight, the health promotion and outreach team can go to their village and talk to the community leaders and arrange for a community meeting to see how they're managing, sensitise them to prevention and help identify people at risk for monitoring.

Ms Telfer said patients could come in by themselves, phone the hotline, or be sent by authorities.

"If they're a suspected case, they're admitted to the respective area where they're very rapidly tested for Ebola and managed clinically," she said.

"Everyone has one test. If the first test is positive, they move immediately to the confirmed area of the case management centre.

"If their first test is negative, usually people have a second test because it can take three days from onset for an Ebola test to turn positive."

Ms Telfer said data was collected for every person admitted or who died as a result of the disease.

She said the data and patient notes helped identify the chain of transmission, often up to 20 people.

"That sometimes leads us to the most recent case to let us know where to direct some prevention activities and promotion."

Topics:  ebola, health




Chaos erupts in parliament over Lismore signage

Greens mayoral candidate Vanessa Grindon-Ekins at Lismore and Villages sign at Hinterland Way

The Lismore signage debacle on Pacific Highway mocked in parliament

Why our Lismore MP Thomas George backs the greyhound ban

Lismore MP Thomas George said he supported the government on its decision to ban greyhound racing.

"I said I would clearly not be crossing the floor"

Latest deals and offers

Johnny Depp 'deeply respects' Amber Heard

Celebrity

Amber Heard gives away $7 million settlement to charity

Byron Bay Brewery will reopen next month

ENTERTAINMENT: For years, the Byron Bay Brewery has been an important venue for local artists to showcase their creations.

It has been closed for six weeks of renovations

The true cost of 60 Minutes debacle revealed

It's a bill that would make even a silk tied barrister blush

Yann Martel on novels: "Like building cathedrals in the mind”

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, an international bestseller published in more than 50 territories.

The writer of Life of Pi introduces his new novel in Byron Bay

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep