From Harford County government:
Harford County Government has initiated planning and procedures to deal with the Ebola virus. The Department of Emergency Services is coordinating the county’s efforts among various agencies, departments and organizations.
County officials received a briefing on the Ebola virus from the Harford County Health Department and the University of Maryland, Upper Chesapeake Health System on Thursday in the Harford County Council Chambers. More than 100 people from Harford County Government, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the three municipalities, Harford County Fire and EMS Association, Harford County Public Schools, Harford County Public Library and the District Court of Maryland among others attended the 90 minute briefing.
Immediately following the briefing, the Department of Emergency Services formed a workgroup to establish protocols for county fire and EMS providers, law enforcement personnel and hazardous materials technicians who may be called upon to respond to medical emergencies involving patients suspected of having the Ebola virus. The Harford County Health Department, Upper Chesapeake Health System and the Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) are providing technical assistance
to the workgroup.
“Harford County is joining scores of other jurisdictions throughout the country in developing special protocols to deal with patients suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus,” said Rick Ayers, Harford County Emergency Manager. “The Emergency Preparedness Branch of the Department of Emergency Services is helping to coordinate our local process and is working closely with all segments of the emergency services,” Ayers added.
Also commenting on preparations for effectively dealing with the Ebola virus, Russell J. Strickland, Director of DES said, “The key to successful intervention is to proactively plan and prepare for such medical emergencies. Harford County is taking appropriate steps to effectively mitigate such incidents should they occur in our county.
To view the Harford County Health Department presentation on Ebola, visit: http://www.harfordcountyhealth.com/ebola-presentation/
To date there have been no reported cases of individuals contracted the Ebola virus in the State of Maryland.
EBOLA EDUCATION AND PREPARATION IS A TOP PRIORITY IN HARFORD COUNTY
From the Harford County Health Department:
Wednesday, Emergency Management called together over 100 county partners at the County Council Chambers to listen to the Health Department’s Ebola information presentation and learn about the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health’s preparations for the possible care of an Ebola patient.
The health department has a dedicated section on its website www.harfordcountyhealth.com about Ebola. However the most important messages are: 1) The Ebola virus is hard to catch. 2) A person can only catch Ebola by coming in contact with the blood or body fluid of someone who has received a diagnosis of Ebola. 3) A person is not contagious unless they show symptoms. 4) A person is not tested for Ebola unless they have traveled to an area with Ebola such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea AND the person is showing symptoms. 5) Ebola is NOT spread through air or water.
The Health Officer, Susan Kelly, stated, “County residents are much more likely to get the flu, which is spread through the air, than Ebola and therefore it is very important for everyone to get the flu vaccine this year.”
For more information, visit www.harfordcountyhealth.com or contact Molly Mraz at 410-877-1045.