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Countryside prepares for Ebola

Lead Summary

Possibility low, but preparation essential
With the potential for another Ebola case to appear anywhere in the U.S. at any time, preparations are underway nationwide for how it will be handled not only at major medical centers, but in rural counties as well.
Two American nurses who cared for Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas, Texas, are now themselves receiving medical treatment after contracting the deadly disease. Duncan, 42, who flew to the U.S. from Liberia Sept. 24 and was hospitalized for Ebola symptoms Sept. 28, died Oct. 8.
 “Countryside Public Health is in an alert phase of monitoring the situation,” Gloria Tobias, Disease Prevention and Control Coordinator for Countryside Public Health, said of the agency’s preparations.
 “Now that Ebola has occurred here in the United States there are questions and concerns about how this would be managed in Minnesota and in our local area,” she said. “We are receiving regular updates and participating in conference calls from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and with our partners.”
Countryside serves Swift, Chippewa, Big Stone, Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties.
“The possibility of Ebola in our five-county area remains low but we need to be prepared,” Tobias said.  Countryside Public Health is working with the MDH, medical providers and other partners should there be a suspect case to provide the best care possible, she said. 
Countryside Public Health will assist MDH in the monitoring of exposed persons and help to assure that their essential needs are met while their mobility is limited.

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