Delaware DPH Issues Statement on Second Ebola Case in Texas
A hazmat worker points to the entrance of an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, in Dallas. The worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for the virus. (AP)
DOVER, Del.- Delaware Division of Public Health officials say they are closely monitoring the situation with the second confirmed Ebola case in Texas.
According to the CDC, a Texas hospital nurse was infected as a result of a break in hospital disease containment protocol during treatment of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S. The CDC has clear recommendations on infection control, appropriate personal protective equipment, quarantine, and decontamination which the DPH said it has shared with all local hospitals and EMS agencies. DPH officials said they are working with local hospitals and EMS agencies to ensure they are aware of the CDC's recommendations. The DPH is also sharing information with other medical providers and institutions on how to screen for and prevent the transmission of infectious diseases like Ebola, officials said.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this terrible disease," said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "Ebola is a very rare illness and the conditions must be just right for its transmission. A core public health mission is preventing the spread of infectious disease and DPH is constantly working to prevent, plan and prepare for many illnesses."
Ebola is a very difficult disease to get and may only be transmitted if a person comes in direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone suffering from the symptoms of the Ebola disease. The incubation period, the time in which a person exposed to someone with Ebola will develop the disease, is two to 21 days. There are two people receiving hospital treatment in the U.S. for Ebola, one in Nebraska and the Texas hospital worker. No other states have confirmed cases.
The DPH is working with local hospitals and EMS agencies to ensure they are aware of the CDC's recommendations on how to control infection with appropriate personal protective equipment, quarantine and decontamination, officials said. They said DPH is also sharing information with other medical providers and institutions on how to screen for and prevent the transmission of infectious diseases like Ebola. For further guidance, visit the Delaware Health Alert Network website at dhss.delaware.gov/dph/php/alertshan2014.html.
DPH reminds medical providers to screen for recent travel history and isolate the patient if Ebola is suspected, and alert the DPH Office of Epidemiology at 888-295-5156 (Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.) or (302) 744-4700 (after 4:30 p.m., weekends, and holidays).
DPH also reminds Delawareans that cold and flu season has begun. The best way to prevent transmission of this commons viruses is:
Wash hands with soap frequently or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after you cough, sneeze or touch your face. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet. Stay home when sick and do not return to work until 24 hours after a fever is gone. To learn more about flu vaccination opportunities visit, www.flu.delaware.gov or call 800-282-8672.