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Nevada taking action in response to Ebola

By ThisIsReno

CARSON CITY — Today Governor Brian Sandoval directed the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services through the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tracey Green, to form an advisory task force to oversee preparation activities connected to the Ebola virus.

“Preparedness is the best defense so I asked that this task force be created as a precautionary measure to stay ahead of any potential exposure to the Ebola virus and ensure the safety of all Nevadans,” said Sandoval.

The task force will be comprised of topic experts and other key leaders. The purpose of the task force is to enhance communication, training, and responsiveness, and will provide regular updates to the Governor.

Since the first notification a person in the US tested positive for the Ebola virus, the Governor has received regular briefings. Dr. Green and the State Medical Epidemiologist, Dr. Ihsan Azzam, along with others from the state’s Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Management Services agency, have maintained close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) participating in situational reports from such authorities as the CDC, the US Agency for International Development, and the National Security Council.

Dr. Green, Dr. Azzam and local health authorities have kept the Nevada medical community apprised of information distributed from the CDC in the form of Technical Bulletins and News Releases. As next steps, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) is actively assessing the rigor of Personal Protective Equipment available statewide to ensure a ready supply at medical facilities. In addition, the state is working with local authorities to provide training to medical personnel on proper CDC protocols for effective protection.

“Effective interventions to control the spread of Ebola can be accomplished through a strict adherence to the core functions of public health, coordinated communication, ongoing surveillance for early case identification, rapid and prompt case isolation, timely and appropriate care; contact tracing and the enhancement of public health preparedness plans,” said Green. “The advantage Nevada has to stay ahead of and better manage a potential threat, is the collaborative communication network among our local health authorities, health care providers, first responders, and emergency management teams.”

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