Officials: Local Ebola Risks Small
Local health officials are reassuring the community that the risks of Ebola here are very, very small, but there is one health concern we should be thinking about.
Monday, October 20th 2014, 4:40 PM PDT by
Monday, October 20th 2014, 5:06 PM PDT
After a local man was potentially exposed to Ebola on an airplane, there were concerns about the disease spreading here in Northern Nevada.
But experts say there is very little chance that this person will get Ebola... and even less of a chance that it will spread.
Local health officials gave a briefing on Monday on how they're handling the situation here. They say they're optimistic since the local man wasn't sitting near the infected nurse on the plane. On top of that, they've learned that Ebola is not very contagious in its very early stages before symptoms escalate.
So if they can isolate potential cases, they say an outbreak is not something to be concerned about.
"If we isolate people that do have symptoms early and protect the healthcare workers, we should be in a very good position to contain this within the U.S.,” says Kevin Dick, Washoe County Health Officer.
At this year's Nevada Health Conference, Ebola preparedness was at the top of the docket.
Local health officials and hospitals are training to deal with Ebola just in case a patient does show up here. And they say that extra training at the beginning of flu season is straining their resources.
"We as a community can help by getting a flu shot and not showing up in the ER or urgent care with flu-like symptoms. That'll certainly help to reduce the strain on our healthcare system."
The incubation period for Ebola is a max of 21 days so the health district is monitoring the local man twice a day until that time period passes.
They say he is being very cooperative and not going out in public.