Mohave County Prepared for Ebola Outbreak

Lake Havasu City, AZ – Supervisor Buster Johnson attended several meetings this past week with healthcare providers, emergency management personal and local law enforcement from around the county to discuss what an Ebola outbreak would look like should one arise in Mohave County.  “Although every city has a plan in place for a disaster, if an outbreak of Ebola were to occur the statutory responsibility would automatically be transferred to our Mohave County Health Department Director Patty Mead,” Supervisor Johnson stated.  “The County’s Health Department and Emergency Management Division have practiced many times for a pandemic, but an Ebola outbreak would involve many key players from around the county,” Johnson continued.

According to Johnson, the meetings put together by the County’s Health Department involved first responders, hospital staff, doctors and the county’s Emergency Management Division.  “These meetings brought everyone together to update them on the latest information from the Center for Disease Control and the Texas incident and also to review our plan,” Johnson stated.  “With a virus like Ebola, health officials have to worry about more than just treatment of the patient.  They also have to protect the general public along with putting protocols in place to ensure the safety of our first responders so they can continue to provide service to the community,” Johnson explained.

The Mohave County Health Department has plans in place for the quarantine along with plans to ensure the security and personal needs of the quarantined individuals.  “These individuals have to be secured inside away from human contact.  If they need food or household supplies, it is going to be our responsibility to provide them,” Johnson explained.  According to Johnson, the Health Department is prepared to provide guidance to healthcare partners regarding laboratory testing and case management, to provide specialized clean-up crews and to interview and watch all individuals the infected patient may have come into contact.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, no known cases of Ebola have been suspected or confirmed in Arizona or Mohave County.  “Ebola is a very serious virus with no known cure,” Johnson stated.  “Informing the public about this deadly virus is just as important as stopping it.  Our health department will immediately inform the public and provide as much information as possible along with continual updates should a case occur in Mohave County,” Johnson ended.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with people who have Ebola, or through contact with their body fluids.  Symptoms of Ebola typically include: weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Typically, symptoms appear 8-10 days after exposure to the virus, but the incubation period can span two to 21 days.

For more information on Ebola, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

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