Wisconsin prepared to respond to Ebola

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Although no one has contracted the Ebola virus in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced it has plans in place to respond to the virus in the event a case of it appears in the state.

“We understand people are concerned about the Ebola virus,” said state health officer Karen McKeown. “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. 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 is continuing to ensure that all health care providers are prepared with the appropriate infection control protocols and required precautions for managing an Ebola patient.

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“For the general public, we want to stress that the chances of anyone in Wisconsin contracting the Ebola virus are very low,” McKeown said. “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.”

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