• Question: Have you ever been working with the Ebola viruse

    Asked by 445mutg34 to Monica on 15 Nov 2016.
    • Photo: Monica Flaherty

      Monica Flaherty answered on 15 Nov 2016:

      No. If a person arrives in the hospital and is suspected of having ebola, they are isolated and samples are taken from them. Nurses, doctors,scientists or any care worker that deals with this patient has to take percautions as the virus can easily be transferred. The virus is found in human body fluids e.g blood. Samples are taken from the patient and sent to the lab. A routine microbiology laboratory would not process the sample. The samples are sent out to the Virus Reference Laboratory in Dublin. This laboratory has a category 4 laboratory. Before a scientist enters this laboratory they have to fully gown up, wear a mask, cover their hair, wear gloves, goggles and even boots. They then place the samples in a cabinetand perform all work with the sample in that cabinet.
      In the UK there is a laboratory in Porton Down( UK military science park) and they would deal with smallpox, anthrax and many more serious bacteria and viruses. These would be all classed as category 4 organisms. Organisms that can cause fatal disease to humans