Ebola: No Current Threat, But EMT’s Stay Prepared

first_imgParamedic Scott Huffman presents information on Ebola to local medical professionals.DELAWARE TOWNSHIP, Ind. – While the threat of Ebola reaching Indiana is extremely low, local emergency professionals are not taking any risks.Area hospitals have increased precautions and participated in drills to ensure a proper response by staff members. It’s reasonable to assume that a potentially infected patient might arrive to the hospital via ambulance.So are EMT’s prepared to address this issue if it were to arise?Scott Huffman, a paramedic with Ripley County EMS, has held multiple presentations providing information on the virus to medical professionals and first responders.On Friday, representatives from Decatur, Ripley and Ohio health departments were in attendance along with Ripley County EMA.Huffman relayed information on how EMT’s should respond to a potential threat, the proper protective gear to wear, how to document the situation and also the procedures to dispose of the protective gear.“We may never deal with Ebola but we are putting plans in place,” Huffman says. “But, I think it is great that agencies are coming together.”“If nothing else this disease has helped us prepare for the next big thing that could hit our area.”Any travelers coming from Ebola-affected countries must enter the U.S. in one of five airports that have advanced screenings.  Customs officials will then document the final destination of the passenger which will be provided to the health department serving that area. The travelers will be monitored for the following 21 days.The time from exposure to when signs or symptoms appear is 2 to 21 days, but the average time is around one week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The virus is not contagious until symptoms appear which include severe headache, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.CDC officials say Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids. It is not airborne.last_img read more