The Acting Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo, has chaired a meeting at the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) to evaluate the protocols related to the response to the Ebola virus disease in Spain, with the aim of guaranteeing good coordination in case of need.
"All protocols are ready and updated," said the minister. "All health administrations are prepared for any eventuality related to the disease," said Maria Luisa Carcedo.
"The risk of a case of Ebola appearing in our country is extremely low, practically null," said Fernando Simón, director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) of the Ministry of Health. "The risk is limited to the epidemic zone in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
"We must remember that air and maritime traffic between the risk zone and Spain is very limited, there are no direct flights or regular maritime lines between Spain and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so the risk of direct transport of people is minimal ", added Fernando Simón.
Last Friday, June 14, the Emergency Committee of the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that the Ebola outbreak that began in August 2018 in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not meet the conditions to be declared a Public Health Emergency of International Importance. Likewise it was pronounced on October 17, 2018 and April 12, 2019.
Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la BellacasaAt the meeting held today in the CCAES it has become clear that Spain has updated all the protocols for action and response that are triggered by the appearance of a suspected case of Ebola virus disease (EVE) and that there is good coordination between all the institutions that would be involved in the response.
This includes the monitoring systems of the epidemic, risk assessment and coordinated response to a possible alert by EVE through the System of Early Warning and Response System (SIAPR).
Also other procedures, such as the detection of cases and detection of information through the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network or case management through the Hospital Network for Infectious Diseases of High Risk and the application of the Protocol of action against suspected cases of Ebola virus disease.
The protocols of action establish, in addition, the guidelines to maintain the information and opportune recommendations to travelers to zones of risk, through the International Vaccination Centers network and consular services.
To all this we must add the detection and response to Ebola alerts at the border, keeping surveillance systems activated at points of entry through External Health.
In parallel, the autonomous communities, in coordination with the Coordination Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies, carry out simulations and continuous training of personnel on a regular basis in the High Level Isolation Hospital Units (UAAN).
In the years 2018 and 2019, simulations were carried out in the hospitals of La Paz (Madrid), La Fe (Valencia), Clínic (Barcelona), Donostia, Virgen del Rocío (Seville) and La Candelaria-Ofra (Tenerife), in addition to the that are carried out in the Central Hospital of the Defense. The last one took place only a few days ago.
The UAAN were created in 2014, after the epidemic of Ebola virus disease, and guarantee a high degree of specialization and training of health personnel, the best possible care of the patient with confirmed infection and the basic conditions of safety in the control of the high level infection that prevent transmission.
To the meeting held today at the CCAES have also attended, among other attendees, the General Secretary of Health, Faustino Blanco, the Director General of Public Health, Pilar Aparicio, and General Miguel Angel Ballesteros, director of the Department of National Security.