Even while the likelihood of a case of Ebola virus disease appearing in San Joaquin County (SJC) is low, local public health, hospitals, medical care facilities, and emergency medical response partners are working together in coordination with state and federal agencies to prepare for and respond to any possible public health threats. All-hazard emergency preparedness is the national standard practiced throughout SJC. “It is an opportune time for all critical partners involved in such response to communicate regularly and coordinate so that we have a well-functioning system,” stated Alvaro Garza, MD, MPH, San Joaquin County Public Health Officer.
Ongoing efforts include:
- Ensuring healthcare system preparedness: Hospital staff, healthcare provider staff, emergency medical services staff and other healthcare workers are aware of the recommended guidelines for screening, evaluating and managing patients for Ebola, of the required personal protective equipment, and that training and exercise of that equipment is provided.
- Ensuring public health system preparedness: The County’s public health lab can assist hospital or clinical labs with handling specimens, and contact tracing by public health nurses as well as surveillance and other epidemiologic practices are ready.
- Ensuring information sharing: through health alerts, advisories, or updates to the healthcare community and through news releases and other information to the public. Information in multiple languages and extensive public health resources are listed at the following webpages:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html
California Department of Public Health (CDPH), cdph.ca.gov/programs/cder/Pages/Ebola.aspx
San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS), sjcphs.org/emprep/EPEbola.aspx
Healthy hygiene behavior, especially regular thorough hand washing is recommended at all times for the prevention of most all public health threats. “We are also approaching Flu season and remind you and your family to get your Flu vaccines. It is very important that everyone practice healthy hygiene, healthy nutrition, and regular physical exercise,” stated Dr. Garza.
San Joaquin County Public Health Services (PHS) will continue to monitor communications with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly for updated guidance and recommendations. We will share updated information with our health care partners as it becomes available.
The public is encouraged to keep informed by visiting official public health websites for timely and accurate information, such as:
Symptoms and fallout of the disease:
- High fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
- Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
- Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has
- Mortality rate of about 55%
- Incubation period is two to 21 days
- There is no proven vaccine or cure
- Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have
- Diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
- Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural host
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