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Health Alerts & Advisories

THIS WEEK - October 13, 2014


Ebola Virus

Important information about the Ebola virus:

Ebola is spread through direct contact with: 

  • Bodily fluids - blood, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • Objects like needles and syringes that have been contaminated with the virus
  • Ebola is NOT spread through air or by water, or food.

Ebola symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common.  

    • Fever (greater than 100.4F)
    • Headache
    • Joint and muscle aches
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Have you been in contact with someone who has traveled to a country in West Africa or been in contact with someone who has contracted the ebola virus?

What can YOU do to protect yourself from the Ebola virus (and other viruses):

  • Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.
  • GET medical care immediately if you develop fever of 101.5F AND any of the other symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.
  • Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

     ***NEW***Ebola Current Update

    • On October 10, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient reported a low-grade fever and was referred for testing. The healthcare worker has tested positive for Ebola according to preliminary tests by the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory. The healthcare worker was isolated after the initial report of a fever and remains so now. CDC confirms that the healthcare worker is positive for Ebola.
    • CDC is implementing enhanced entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94% of travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
    • A confirmed case of Ebola has been reported in Spain.
    • On September 30, 2014, CDC confirmed the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. The patient passed away on October 8, 2014.
    • New cases continue to be reported from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
    • Nigeria and Senegal have not reported any new cases since September 5, 2014, and August 29, 2014, respectively. All contacts in both countries have now completed their 21-day follow up, with no further cases of Ebola reported.
    • The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported cases of Ebola. These cases are not related to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. For information on the outbreak in DRC, see the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in DRC page.
    Resources: ***NEW***  

    Keep Calm Wash Hands 


    The State of Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) announced it's first confirmed case of Enterovirus.  DHMH Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein said "Now that this virus is known to be in Maryland, it is important that we all take reasonable steps to limit its spread and control its impact."   

    DHMH is recommending that families: 

    • Practice preventive steps, as with other ailments, by regularly washing hands with soap and water.
    • Provide special attention to children with asthma.
    • Be alert to wheezing and other respiratory ailments in children.
    • Keep sick children at home.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Cough and sneeze into sleeve or a tissue.
    • Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups, eating utensils, etc. with people who are sick.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

    Symptoms of mild illness may include:  

    • Fever
    • Runny nose, sneezing, cough
    • Skin rash
    • Mouth blisters
    • Body and muscle aches

    You can be exposed to the virus by: 

    • Having close contact, such as touching or shaking hands, with an infected person,
    • Changing diapers of an infected person, or
    • If you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands

    You can help protect yourself and others from enterovirus infections by:   

    • Learn the Right Way to Wash Your Hands – Soap up and sing the birthday song two times. That is the perfect length of time to get rid of germs!
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers,
    • Avoiding close contact, such as touching and shaking hands, with people who are sick, and
    • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

    Get medical attention when:  

    • Your child has difficulty breathing or has a new the start of new wheezing.

    Stay up-to-date on vaccinations, especially influenza vaccine, to reduce respiratory illness.
    Keep Calm Wash Hands 

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