ODH Activates Ebola Call Center Providing 24-hour answers to questions Ohioans have about Ebola 1-866-800-1404

ODH 24hr logo

The Ohio Department of Health is activating a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer Ohioans’ questions about Ebola and the recent events in Ohio in an effort to ensure Ohioans get accurate, timely information.

The number for Ohioans to call is 1-866-800-1404.

The call center, housed at the Ohio Department of Health, began operations at 6 p.m. today and will be staffed by public health nurses and other public health professionals, with infectious disease specialists available as needed.

“ODH’s call center will provide timely, accurate, credible information about Ebola and the state’s response,” said Dr.Mary DiOrio, state epidemiologist and interim chief of the ODH Bureau of Prevention and Health Promotion. “While initially 24-hours-a-day, the call center hours may be changed as call volume indicates.”

Any change in the call center hours will be sent to the media.

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The 211 on Ebola Virus Disease from the World Health Organization (WHO)

ebola facts

(Source World Health Organization)

Key facts

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
  • The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas.
  • Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good

laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.

  • Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.
  • There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.

Background

The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The current outbreak in west Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal.

The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

A separate, unrelated Ebola outbreak began in Boende, Equateur, an isolated part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The virus family Filoviridae includes 3 genera: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus, and Ebolavirus. There are 5 species that have been identified: Zaire, Bundibugyo, Sudan, Reston and Taï Forest. The first 3, Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, and Sudan ebolavirus have been associated with large outbreaks in Africa. The virus causing the 2014 west African outbreak belongs to the Zaire species.

Transmission

It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.

Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola.

People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids, including semen and breast milk, contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness.

Symptoms of Ebola virus disease

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

Diagnosis

It can be difficult to distinguish EVD from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis. Confirmation that symptoms are caused by Ebola virus infection are made using the following investigations:

  • antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • antigen-capture detection tests
  • serum neutralization test
  • reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
  • electron microscopy
  • virus isolation by cell culture.

Samples from patients are an extreme biohazard risk; laboratory testing on non-inactivated samples should be conducted under maximum biological containment conditions.

Treatment and vaccines

Supportive care-rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids- and treatment of specific symptoms, improves survival. There is as yet no proven treatment available for EVD. However, a range of potential treatments including blood products, immune therapies and drug therapies are currently being evaluated. No licensed vaccines are available yet, but 2 potential vaccines are undergoing human safety testing.

Prevention and control

Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation. Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Raising awareness of risk factors for Ebola infection and protective measures that individuals can take is an effective way to reduce human transmission. Risk reduction messaging should focus on several factors:

  • Reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat. Animals should be handled with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission from direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
  • Outbreak containment measures including prompt and safe burial of the dead, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Ebola, monitoring the health of contacts for 21 days, the importance of separating the healthy from the sick to prevent further spread, the importance of good hygiene and maintaining a clean environment.

Controlling infection in health-care settings:

Health-care workers should always take standard precautions when caring for patients, regardless of their presumed diagnosis. These include basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (to block splashes or other contact with infected materials), safe injection practices and safe burial practices.

Health-care workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus should apply extra infection control measures to prevent contact with the patient’s blood and body fluids and contaminated surfaces or materials such as clothing and bedding. When in close contact (within 1 metre) of patients with EBV, health-care workers should wear face protection (a face shield or a medical mask and goggles), a clean, non-sterile long-sleeved gown, and gloves (sterile gloves for some procedures).

Laboratory workers are also at risk. Samples taken from humans and animals for investigation of Ebola infection should be handled by trained staff and processed in suitably equipped laboratories.

Click on link to see information from the Ohio Department of Health – What you need to know about Ebola

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Athens Co Rd 19, Radford Rd CLOSED, Co Rd 10, Baker Rd to SR 56, Thu, 10/16, 8am to 12pm , please avoid this area

Athens Co Road Closed

The Athens County Engineer’s Office will be closing County Road 19, Radford Road between County Road 10, Baker Road and State Route 56, Thursday, October 16th, 8:00am to 12:00pm , weather permitting. The roadway is being closed for the removal of a large dead tree. Please avoid this area.

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Local Eagle Scout Produces Emergency Information Pamphlet to Help Citizens Contact Emergency Services Faster

N Egan AC EMA 911N Egan ACEMS

 

 

 

We’d like to congratulate local resident Nathan Egan on completing his recent Eagle Scout service project!

Nathan worked with Athens County EMS and Athens County 9-1-1 to develop a pamphlet that educates citizens on the best way to call for help in an emergency situation. The booklet discusses cell phone vs landline calls to 9-1-1, the need for the dispatcher to know a specific address where help is needed, calling when you are on the road or in a public place, and other ways to make sure emergency crews arrive in the fastest time possible. The booklet also contains a place to list the patient’s pertinent medical information such as allergies and history, as well as a separate list for current medications and dosages.

Nathan wanted to do a project of this nature to serve not just his local community, but get the word out to as many citizens as possible using internet downloads and multiple media sites. He will be distributing the printed pamphlets to all five Athens County EMS stations. He has distribution plans throughout Meigs County as well over the next few weeks.

Nathan Egan is 17 years old. He has been a boy scout for the past six years. He is a member of Troop #299 in Western Meigs County. Greg McCall is the scout master. He is currently at the rank of Life Scout and is completing the requirements to attain the rank of Eagle Scout this November.

Nathan is a senior at the Ohio Connections Academy and plans to attend college in the fall of 2015 for a degree in computer science. Nathan lives in Syracuse with his mother, Wendy Egan and in Haydenville with his father and step mother, Joe and Stephanie Egan. His father has been a full time paramedic for Athens County EMS (SEOEMS) for the past 21 years.

Athens County EMS and Athens County Emergency Management will have a .pdf file of Nathan’s pamphlet available their websites (www.AthensEMS.org & http://www.athensema.org) for free downloading.

Click Link for PDF Version – Tips to Save Time In An Emergency

Congratulations, Nathan, and thank you!

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ATHENS CO TORNADO WATCH UNTIL 9PM, TUE 10/7/14, WATCH FOR RAPIDLY CHANGING CONDITIONS, SEEK SHELTER IF NEEDED!

Tornado Watch

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR ATHENS COUNTY UNTIL 9PM TONIGHT, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014. WATCH FOR RAPIDLY CAHNGING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND BE PREPAIRED TO SEEK SHELTER IF NEEDED.

REMEMBER, A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO, LOCAL TV, RADIO OR YOUR CABLE TELEVISION PROVIDER FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS

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Driving Abilities Change as we Age, Learn How To Recognize and Discuss Changes in Your Older loved One’s Driving

Older Athens County Logo

Getting older does not necessarily mean a person’s driving days are over. But it is important to plan ahead and take steps to ensure the safety of your loved ones on the road. NHTSA offers free materials to help you learn more about how to recognize and discuss changes in your older loved one’s driving.

If you think you need to have a conversation with an older driver about his or her driving abilities, remember that many older drivers look at driving as a form of independence. Bringing up the subject of their driving abilities can make some drivers defensive. So, be prepared with your observations and questions, and – if necessary – provide possible transportation alternatives.

Answering the following questions may help you decide if you need to initiate a conversation with an older driver about driving safely:

  • Getting lost on routes that should be familiar?
  • Noticing new dents or scratches to the vehicle?
  • Receiving a ticket for a driving violation?
  • Experiencing a near miss or crash recently?
  • Being advised to limit/stop driving due to a health reason?
  • Overwhelmed by road signs and markings while driving?
  • Taking any medication that might affect driving safely?
  • Speeding or driving too slowly for no reason?
  • Suffering of any illnesses that may affect driving skills?
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Athens County 9-1-1 Hiring Intermittent 9-1-1 Dispatchers

dispatcher

The Athens County 9-1-1 office is accepting applications for intermittent public safety telecommunicators for receiving requests for emergency services by telephone; answer 9-1-1 emergency and non-emergency calls. After successfully passing a written examination, passing applicants will be put on a call list for new employees.

Qualifications: All interested applicants must have a high school diploma or GED; be 18 years of age; have a valid driver’s license; and must be able to type 40 WPM. All applicants are subject to a background investigation, drug testing, and hearing examination and upon hire will be required to successfully complete certifications within one year of employment.

Working Hours: Hours will be full-time for the first 7 weeks. After completing training, working hours will be on an as needed basis, currently averaging 20-30 hours per week. This position works all holidays and weekends.

Starting Pay: $15.31 per hour. Last day for applications is October 20, 2014.

Application, job description and hiring guidelines can be downloaded from: www.athens911.com. Completed applications can be emailed to melissa@athens911.com or mailed to Athens County 9-1-1, 13 West Washington Street, Athens, Ohio 45701, or faxed: (740) 592-5370.

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Athens Co Engineer’s Office Reopens Bridge on Hawk Rd in Waterloo Twp

Drive-Safely

The Athens County Engineer’s Office has reopened the bridge on Township Road 25 (Hawk Road) 1.1 miles from County Road 6 (Old State Route 56) in Waterloo Township. The Athens County Engineer’s Office would like to thank area residents for their patience and understanding while the bridge was repaired. Please drive carefully!

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FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FOR ATHENS CO, SUN 10/5 FROM 4 AM TO 9 AM

Frost Advisory

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY FOR ATHENS COUNTY WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 9 AM SUNDAY 10/5.

  • TEMPERATURES – LOWS IN THE LOW TO MID 30S.
  • TIMING – EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.
  • CONFIDENCE – MEDIUM, WINDS MAY BE STRONG ENOUGH TO KEEP FROST AWAY BUT TEMPERATURES WILL BE WELL BELOW THE TYPICAL CALM WIND CONDITIONS THAT USUALLY FORM FROST.
  • IMPACTS – FROST COULD KILL SENSITIVE VEGETATION IF NOT PROTECTED.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT FROST IS POSSIBLE. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED. TAKE PRECAUTION AND COVER YOUR PLANTS.

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Nelsonville Boil Order for SR 691 and Kimberly Rd has been CANCELED!

Nelso Boil Order Canceled

The City of Nelsonville boil order for 15468 to 15420 State Route 691 and 15275 to 14455 County Road 1, Kimberly Road has been canceled. The city of Nelsonville thanks the public for their patience and understanding during this event.

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