While it may be the first time most of the public has thought about Ebola in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health has been working since summer to make sure those on the frontlines—local doctors, EMS, hospitals and health departments—have the information and resources they need. In fact, on Tuesday, Oct. 14, officials from the Ohio Department of Health conducted a preparedness seminar and a tabletop exercise with healthcare partners representing hospitals, physicians, nurses, EMS responders and local health departments to test the response to a hypothetical positive case.
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees).
- Ebola is spread by touching the blood and body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola or items with the blood and body fluids on it, like clothes and bedding. Ebola is not spread through the air, food or water.
- Patients are contagious only when they are symptomatic and show signs of a fever.
- Anyone believing that they have been in contact with a person with Ebola should call his or her health care provider.
The staff at REACH Academy continually review policies and procedures for infection control, not just for Ebola, but for all communicable diseases that are common amongst children. We take every opportunity to reinforce healthy, germ-stopping habits with our students, and we encourage parents to do the same at home. Hand washing is a common routine after restroom breaks and before lunch, and all staff have tissues and hand sanitizer available for students at all times. Parents, we encourage you to keep students who have a fever or vomiting/diarrhea at home until they have been symptom-free for 24 hours.
Good information on preventing the flu and other infectious diseases can be found on the Ohio Department of Health website.