If you have symptoms and traveled to Ebola-affected country… call ahead
Emmons County Public Health and the Linton Hospital and Medical Center continue to prepare for the remote possibility that an Ebola case could present in Emmons County.
The only people at actual risk for Ebola are those who have traveled from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone or who have come in contact with bodily fluids of someone who is infected with Ebola, either living or deceased, within the last 21 days. Very few people actually meet these criteria.
“Despite the low risk of a case here, we are working with the North Dakota Department of Health to have protocols and plans to deal with Ebola if necessary, but we urge anyone with the possible diagnosis to alert health care providers before seeking treatment,” cautioned Bev Voller, RN, Administrator for Emmons County Public Health.
Specifically, officials ask those who are at risk from the disease to tell the 911 operator if calling for an ambulance or to call their health care provider or the hospital before coming in. This will allow the providers to make sure all infection control protocols are in place and a place for isolation is available if needed.
According to Robert O. Black, CEO of the Linton Hospital and Clinics, patients who come to the hospital, or call the clinics in Linton, Hazelton and Herreid, S.D., will be asked if they have travelled to the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea. If a case is suspected in Emmons County, officials will notify the North Dakota Department of Health and work with them on testing, isolation and transportation as needed.
Travelers returning from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are advised to take the following steps:
1. Monitor your health for 21 days after your last possible exposure.
2. Minimize contact with family members and community members.
3. Call for medical assistance immediately if you develop fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher or have other Ebola symptoms like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
Again, call in advance to tell the doctor about your recent travel and symptoms before going to the clinic/ hospital or emergency room. Advance notice will help the health care providers provide care and protect other people who may be in the clinic or hospital.
Formoreinformation,please call Emmons County Public Health at (701) 254-4027 or the Linton Hospital at (701) 254-4511 or the Linton Medical Center at (701) 254-4531.