October 27, 2014
The Ebola virus fact sheet can be downloaded here.
Further to the brochure, we have permission to share the following information that was sent to all Victorian utilities this week.
The Victorian Department of Health has developed the Victorian Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Response Plan and Victoria is in a strong position to be able to respond to an Ebola case should this occur in Victoria.
The key messages that relate to the water industry are:
The messages contained in the WaterRA factsheet for drinking water are supported by the Department of Health and that there is no risk of Ebola transmission or infection from drinking water supplies.
Sewage exposure, sewage treatment and sewerage system workers
There is no evidence that Ebola can be spread by water or sewage. As a precaution however, steps are in place to disinfect patient waste as an extra protection at the treating hospital.
The water industry is familiar with working in sewage environments and, as with the normal sewage risks, prevention of contact with sewage is the most effective method of controlling risk of infection.
Guidance is currently being prepared by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US that specifically addresses risks to sewage works and exposure to sewage containing Ebola patient wastes. This is expected to be released by the end of October. Once released the Department will inform the water industry.
Recycled water use
Recycled water used by the community and industry includes treatment and disinfection processes which are effective against a variety of human and environmental pathogens, including Ebola. There is no risk of Ebola transmission in these water supplies.
In the mean time, the following messages are relevant to the public :
A recent blog by Professor Jeffrey Levi from the US may also be of interest readers.
The title and link are here Lessons from Ebola: The infectious disease era, and the need to prepare, will never be over