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  • Local health officials aim to be prepared in case of Ebola

    Oct 16, 2014 | Read More News
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    As part of their ongoing efforts to be prepared for the possibility of an Ebola case being diagnosed in our community, health officials from across the county gathered Thursday to continue discussions about how our community’s health-care infrastructure would respond to such a scenario.

    Dr. Francisco GarciaThis meeting is the latest example of leaders from the public health department, hospitals, health-care providers, first responders and emergency managers committing to a coordinated effort to protect the community. The focus for today’s meeting was to discuss plans for training opportunities for health-care staff and first responders, developing a process for refining local screening protocols for Ebola, and assembling a proactive community approach to respond to this potential threat.

    Over the past few weeks, Dr. Francisco Garcia, Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Pima County Health Department, has been engaged in discussions with various federal, state and local agencies about this potential risk. “While the risk of having an Ebola case in our community remains very low, we all recognize the importance of having these conversations before an emergency happens,” Dr. Garcia said. “These meetings and the plans that are evolving from them are crucial to protecting the health and safety of our community.”

    Over the next couple of weeks, smaller groups formed at today’s meeting will be using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, lessons being learned from the case in Dallas, and their expertise on the infection control practices used locally to ensure that they are doing their best to minimize the risks associated with the Ebola virus. Adding the guidelines, policies and procedures developed as part of this effort to already existing emergency response plans and protocols in place will help to strengthen our readiness for any public health threat and lead to successful handling of an Ebola case should one occur.