Ebola testing highlights 'first-class' health system

THE case of a teenager in Queensland who tested negative for the Ebola virus showed our health system was "first-class", Health Minister Peter Dutton said on Monday.

After the Guinea woman, 18, flew to Brisbane 11 days ago, she was in home quarantine when she developed a fever.

Initial tests performed on Sunday night were negative for the virus.

Queensland's chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young said there was "no need to be nervous".

She said staff in the health system knew what they were doing and had managed the situation well.

Dr Young said the young woman will be tested again in coming days, and will remain under quarantine in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital until cleared.

The Ebola virus has a 21-day incubation period.

The woman, who came with her family from West Africa, was one of four families to fly into Queensland in recent days and all were under home quarantine on Monday.

Mr Dutton on Monday said it was the 12th case of Ebola testing in Australia, and it showed the response from all health workers involved was "really first-class".

"I think people need to put the risk into perspective, but be reassured by the fact that we have every contingency covered and the government has been working day and night to make sure that our country has the appropriate response," he said.

He also said the government had still made no decisions about dispatching Australians to help with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The United Kingdom and the United States have requested the help of the Australian Government in recent weeks.

"They do amazing work, the 20 or 30 volunteers who are working for non-government organisations in West Africa already and we are providing them with whatever support we can, but the fact is that we are not going to send health workers into harm's way if we don't have appropriate medical assistance for them on the ground," Mr Dutton said.

- APN NEWSDESK



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