Ebola preparedness in Louisiana - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Ebola preparedness in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

There are no known cases of Ebola in Louisiana, however, if there ever was a case, officials with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says they are prepared.

A statement on the DHH website says "For the last several weeks, we've been working to ready Louisiana's public health and medical infrastructure, including procedures for emergency medical workers, hospital physicians and regional emergency response coordinators. While we certainly hope that we never have an Ebola case in Louisiana, we are committed to ensuring that our health care system and our emergency responders are prepared.

DHH has distributed information to health care providers in Louisiana that includes criteria for suspecting Ebola, how to report suspected cases, how to consult with DHH or seek lab testing, and necessary precautions to be taken.

DHH also recently updated its routine hospital bed availability survey to capture information regarding infectious disease treatment capabilities and ensure proper facilities are ready should a case present in Louisiana.

DHH is meeting with EMS and hospital regional coordinators around the state to specifically discuss plans for responding to a potential Ebola case.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), when an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

For more information about Ebola, visit the CDC website

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