State Sees Ebola Scare in Dover as Learning Experience - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State Sees Ebola Scare in Dover as Learning Experience

Updated:

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - After an Ebola scare close to home over the weekend, Delaware health officials are evaluating the responses of the state and the hospital involved.

The state sees this as a learning experience. Hospitals and the state run table top exercises to practice for situations like a case of Ebola. But what happened this weekend in Dover, which turned out not to be Ebola, was a real-world opportunity to see if the policies and procedures in place are working as they should.

Saturday a Liberian girl came into Kent General Hospital with a mild fever, headache and abdominal pain. After an initial assessment she was put into isolation.

By Monday the state Division of Public Health, and its director Dr. Karyl Rattay, were able to confirm the girl did not have Ebola. The girl was no longer showing symptoms and was later released from the hospital.

"We see this as a learning opportunity. The experience on Saturday working with the healthcare provider and then the CDC - we actually feel it went very smoothly," Rattay said.

She says it's a challenge to make sure the public has the information it needs and deserves when a potential Ebola case appears while not creating more panic and fear in the community.

"It is important to balance. It's important that we're transparent and that we're communicating with people what's going on out there but also communicating that this is an infection that's very difficult to get," said Rattay. "I don't want to belittle the concern around Ebola virus. But there are many other viruses out there that do cause more serious harm. We're going to see most likely more deaths from influenza in our state this year than we will from Ebola."

The state had six deaths from influenza in 2014 and four in 2013. Rattay says though she believes it's unlikely, there is certainly the possibility Delaware could see another potential case of Ebola in the weeks and months to come.

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