Utah Prepares For Ebola

October 16, 2014
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Utah Depart healthSALT LAKE CITY — Should Ebola ever show up in Utah, public health officials say the state will be ready. “The likelihood of an outbreak in the United States is very low,” according to Utah Department of Health Director David Patton. He told the state’s Health and Human Services Interim Committee on Wednesday. “We have the capacity to contain the disease if it arrives.” Patton did say that the potential for another American to contract the disease, via contact with an infected person, however, “isn’t that low.” “The risk is quite low, but in public health, we are taking this seriously,” said Dr. Robert Rolfs, Utah health department deputy director and a former state epidemiologist.Hospital personnel, he said, should be trained to identify a patient with Ebola as soon as possible and then cared for safely. Determining whether others were exposed to that patient is the next priority, followed by close monitoring for at least 21 days after exposure in case symptoms arise and to prevent the spread of illness. “Getting everyone in every part of Utah absolutely prepared is going to be a challenge, but we are working on it,” Rolfs said.

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