BURLINGTON –Alamance County Health Department is one of a number of local health departments in the state that has begun monitoring individuals who recently arrived in the United States from West Africa. Alamance County is complying with federal guidelines to monitor all travelers from Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The guidelines state that individuals who return from an impacted area will be screened at the airport and if no other risks than travel are identified, the individuals will then be monitored daily for fever or other symptoms by the local health department for three weeks. This type of monitoring is one component of the Ebola preparedness plan for Alamance County.
“We are currently monitoring five individuals. These travelers have no symptoms, have not had contact with an Ebola patient, and are not healthcare workers. We are monitoring them because of their recent travel from West Africa,” states Health Director Stacie Saunders. “In the event that one of these individuals develops symptoms, the Health Department and our community partners will ensure that they are taken quickly and safely to an isolation unit in a predetermined healthcare facility. Our community has been preparing diligently and we continue to do so.”
The Health Department and its local health and safety partners have met specifically to assess the travelers’ information and review plans. Emergency Management, EMS, Central Communications (911), Alamance Regional Medical Center, and law enforcement throughout the county have worked collaboratively since August to develop protocols and guidelines for Ebola preparedness. These protocols have included screening for West African travel and Ebola symptoms for EMS dispatch and at visits to the Health Department, Alamance Regional Medical Center and other community healthcare facilities.
The county continues to participate in statewide Ebola update calls with the Division of Public Health and continues to receive preparedness guidance from both state and federal health officials. Alamance County preparedness partners meet regularly to discuss preparedness and response efforts in Alamance County.
For general information about Ebola, the public may call 1-800-222-1222 and choose option 6. Additional information can be found at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/ebola/.