Public Health Emerging Issues – Aug. 7, 2018

DENVER EBOLA SCARE IS NOT CAUSE FOR CONCERN FOR MESA COUNTY RESIDENTS

  • A Denver hospital tested a man for Ebola in late July because he had symptoms of the viral disease following a trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he worked with sick people.
    • The man tested negative for Ebola virus.
    • The DRC had experienced an Ebola outbreak that was declared over on July 24, 2018, however another cluster of illness was found in a DRC village on Aug. 1, 2018.
  • No suspect Ebola cases have been reported in Mesa County in 2018. The risk of an Ebola outbreak in our community is low at this time.
  • Ebola is a rare and deadly disease that can be found in people and in nonhuman primates.
  • During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) monitored several travelers who had recently returned from higher risk areas.
  • MCPH has plans in place to monitor any residents or visitors to our community should they experience symptoms of Ebola after traveling to higher risk areas as they are identified.
    • Mary’s Medical Center is an Ebola Assessment Hospital – meaning the hospital is able to assess whether or not a person has the illness.
    • If a person in Mesa County is diagnosed with Ebola, they will be transferred to Denver Health Medical Center, a designated Ebola Treatment Center.
  • Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
    • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to feces, saliva, sweat, urine, vomit, breast milk and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola,
    • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus ,
    • infected fruit bats or primates (apes and monkeys), and
    • possibly from contact with semen from a man who has recovered from Ebola.
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.
  • MCPH will notify the public should extra precautions be necessary regarding Ebola.

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