The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has plans in place to respond in the event a case of Ebola virus appears in the state. There is currently an Ebola outbreak in West Africa; however, no one has contracted the Ebola virus in Wisconsin.
“We understand people are concerned about the Ebola virus, especially with a recently diagnosed case in the United States. While there are no cases of Ebola in Wisconsin, and the risk of contracting it remains low, it’s important that medical and public health professionals are able to respond in the event there is a case in the state,” said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer, “Should someone in the state contract Ebola, DHS will ensure that the public and health care providers receive prompt public health information.”
Since the Ebola virus outbreak began in West Africa, DHS has been assisting health care partners by providing guidelines for monitoring individuals returning from affected countries in that region. DHS also continues to ensure that all health care providers are prepared with the appropriate infection control protocols and required precautions for managing an Ebola patient.
DHS continues to communicate with the CDC for current developments and guidelines and shares that information with health care providers and local health departments in Wisconsin.
“For the general public, we want to stress that the chances of anyone in Wisconsin contracting the Ebola virus are very low,” McKeown continued. “Ebola is only spread through contact with the body fluids of people who are sick with the virus. It cannot be transmitted through the air. In fact, influenza is more contagious than the Ebola virus. That said, DHS remains vigilant in its monitoring of the Ebola virus, and will continue to provide our partners and the public with the most current information and guidance concerning this disease.”
For information on the Ebola virus, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/diseasepages/ViralHemorrhagicFevers.htm
Additional information about the Ebola virus can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html