A Canadian employee has potentially been exposed to the Ebola virus in a Winnipeg lab.
Working at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease on Monday in a lab with pigs infected with the potent affliction, co-workers noticed a tear in the lab worker’s protective suit.
Canada’s public health and food inspection officials say there is no current risk to the Canadian public.
The unnamed employee is currently in self-imposed isolation, and will be checked in on for the next 21 days, the standard quarantine period for the virus. The lab tech was also offered an Ebola vaccine that’s been employed in clinical studies in Africa.
The potentially infected worker was working in a high-security “level four” laboratory with the Ebola-ridden pigs, who were experimentally infected with the virus. The split in the employee’s suit was noticed during decontamination. But, as echoed by Canadian public health officials, the risk to other employees and the public “is expected to be low,” said Dr. John Copps, director of the Winnipeg laboratory.
Anyone carrying the Ebola virus is not deemed contagious until symptoms are present, and if the virus is spread through bodily fluid contact, officials say.
The lab’s research on pigs infected with Ebola was to understand the immune reaction in swine.