For Immediate Release                                     Contacts: Sue Matye – Lafayette County Health Dept.
                                                                                Kathy Ruef – Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County
10/27/14

LAFAYETTE COUNTY EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TASK FORCE WORKING TOGETHER ON JOINT EBOLA PLANNING
Lafayette County— The Lafayette County Emergency Preparedness Task Force, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), Wisconsin Hospitals Association (WHA), Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) are preparing in the event the Ebola virus is diagnosed here.
The Task Force, which is a collaboration of local members from the Health Dept., Hospital, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Coroner, Funeral Home Directors, Public Information Officers, Human Services, Medical Providers, and others met recently to discuss Ebola Preparedness for Lafayette County.
“At this time, there are no reported cases of Ebola in Wisconsin, and the risk of contracting it remains extremely low,” said Sue Matye, Director/Health Officer, Lafayette County Health Department. “Preparing and collaborating on the federal, state, and local level will ensure that the public and health care providers receive prompt public health information.”
“People are naturally concerned about the Ebola virus, especially with the cases recently diagnosed in the United States. While we work together to prepare, it’s also important to reassure the public that Ebola can only be transmitted through contact with the body fluids of people who are sick with the virus, or who have died from it. Ebola cannot be transmitted through the air.”
Health care workers and first responders are keenly aware that they must be especially vigilant with following rigorous safety practices in the event they are ever called on to assist or care for an Ebola patient.
“Our hospital and EMS take preparedness seriously,” said Kathy Ruef, Director of Nursing/COO, Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County. “We are following current safety practices for putting on and taking off personal protective equipment. We will continue to review and update our plans for transporting and isolating a patient with Ebola, and we continue to practice the best methods of sanitation, including the disposal of waste.”
“We want to stress that there are no reported cases of Ebola in Wisconsin, and the risk of contracting it remains extremely low in Wisconsin,” said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer. “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 more information about the Ebola virus and Wisconsin’s preparedness efforts, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/diseasepages/ebola.htm
http://www.lafayettecountyhealthdepartment.org
http://www.memorialhospitaloflafayettecounty.org



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