Health Department Issues Ebola Update

 

Click on this link for updated CDC guidance on Ebola.
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html

On October 15, 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) that the second health care worker in Dallas diagnosed with Ebola visited family in the Akron area from October 8-13.

ODH is working with the Summit County Public Health and the CDC to identify people who may have been in close contact with this health care worker and to implement quarantines as necessary. In addition, ODH is working with the CDC to identify individuals that may have traveled on the same flight to Dallas and will work with local health departments to conduct contact monitoring.

A 24 hour-a-day Ebola hotline to answer Ohioans' questions about the disease has been launched. The call center, housed in Columbus, is staffed by public health nurses and other public health professionals with infectious disease specialists available as needed. The number is 1-866-800-1404.

PHYSICIANS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Physicians are asked to diagnose patients by telephone, if possible, for Ebola virus symptoms while verifying whether the patient has 1) traveled to West Africa in recent weeks; 2) been in contact with someone who has traveled to West Africa; or 3) has had contact with a person ill with Ebola in the US. If the patient is being diagnosed in person, physicians should check for symptoms such as fever, body aches and fatigue, but should not draw blood, according to  Mary DiOrio, MD,  state epidemiologist. If the patient has the Ebola virus symptoms and the West African connection, then physicians should contact their local hospital to make arrangements for the patient to be quarantined and transferred to the hospital for additional observation and treatment.

Health care workers are reminded of the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Ebola is spread through direct contact with the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola; objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola; touching the body of someone who has died from Ebola. It is not spread through the air, food, or water.

RESOURCES

Patient Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know about Ebola
ODH Summary: Ohio's Ebola Preparedness
ODH: Information for Local Health Departments
CDC: Information for Health Care Workers 
AOA: What Physicians Need to Know about Ebola

 

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