Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Date: October 13, 2014
DOVER (Oct. 13, 2014) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is 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 Mr. 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 DPH has shared with all local hospitals and EMS agencies. DPH is working with local hospitals and EMS agencies to ensure they are aware of the CDC's recommendations. 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.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this terrible disease," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH Director. "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 Division of Public Health 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. 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:
To learn more about flu vaccination opportunities visit, www.flu.delaware.gov or call 800-282-8672.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com
DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.