In response to the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and subsequent infection of healthcare workers in a Dallas hospital, the Brazoria County Health Department has increased its surveillance and planning activities through our Public Health Emergency Preparedness program. We have been meeting with our community partners, especially Brazosport Regional Health System, Sweeny Hospital and UTMB-Angleton Danbury campus, to ensure they have the information they need to prepare their facilities and staff in the event they will care for a suspect or confirmed Ebola patient.
Cathy Sbrusch, Director of Public Health Services for Brazoria County Health Department reported, “As of today we currently have NO CONFIRMED OR SUSPECT CASES IN BRAZORIA COUNTY”. We are participating in daily phone conferences with State and Federal agencies and communicating their recommendations to local hospitals, Emergency Medical Services, emergency management and local Independent School Districts.
Key points to remember:
- Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose, or mouth) with:
- Blood and body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.
- Objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.
- Ebola is NOT spread through the air, water or food.
Signs and Symptoms of Ebola Include: Fever (higher than 100.4°F), vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle pain, stomach pain or unexplained bleeding or bruising. The incubation period from exposure is 2 to 21 days, but the average time is 8 to 10 days.
Protect yourself by washing your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick. Do not share food or drink with others. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect surfaces with an FDA approved disinfectant.
For more information contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Response Hotline at (800) 232-4636 or Brazoria County Health Department at 979-864-1484.