Health News October 10, 2014

Adena and Community Health Leaders Are Prepared to Handle Ebola If Needed

Adena Health System, first responders and area health leaders recently gathered to discuss plans and procedures that are in place for treating patients with highly communicable diseases, such as Ebola. Including many Adena experts, others in attendance for the discussion were representatives of: the Ross County Health Department; the Ross County Sheriff’s Department; EMS; Ohio State Highway Patrol; VA Medical Center; and funeral directors. The group discussed recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in managing patients showing symptoms of Ebola, isolation and quarantine requirements, transportation to other facilities, and care for deceased patients with the disease.

The Ebola outbreak is centered in western Africa, but a Liberian man recently returned to Dallas, Texas from Liberia carrying the disease, and died.  Those mainly at risk for Ebola are people who have traveled to western Africa within the past several weeks, and those who have been in close contact with them. Ebola is spread through close contact with blood or other bodily fluids. The virus is not spread through the air or indirect contact (such as a door knob).  Symptoms of Ebola include: fever, muscle pain, vomiting and sometimes bleeding.

While it is highly unlikely that a case of Ebola would present in southern Ohio, the healthcare community, law enforcement and first responders are confident the protocols that are in place would be effective in identifying a patient with the disease, isolating that patient, and protecting healthcare workers and the community as a whole

For more information about Ebola and CDC recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov.