Officials ensuring Guam is prepared for Ebola - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Officials ensuring Guam is prepared for Ebola

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - Public Health is working with other Government of Guam agencies, military, federal government, the private sector, healthcare providers, ports of entry, and other organizations to ensure all agencies are prepared to deal with Ebola should it find its way to the island.

According to Guam Memorial Hospital administrator Joseph Verga they stand ready to respond if need be. He told KUAM News, "The hospital is very well prepared to identify and isolate very quickly a potential Ebola case as any other potential communicable diseases we have a plan that we practice that we review regularly and in response to Ebola, and this has been evolving in the mainland as well we have a new assessment tool in place so anyone coming into the ER should be prepared to be assessed for Ebola symptom otology and anyone presenting Ebola like symptoms will be very quickly quarantined.  We have three in the emergency rooms isolation rooms and another 13 actually throughout the hospital for a total of 16. And these are negative pressure rooms although Ebola virus is not transmitted through the air its transmitted through contact so you don't really need a special negative pressure room to isolated someone from Ebola what you need is protective equipment and gear and we have over 600 protective packs in the ER right now we have mobiles to transport patients and we've been drilling Ebola protocols over the last several week."

Verga stresses however the chances of Ebola in Guam are quite remote. Meanwhile as part of the hospital annual infection control training set for this week, they've added an exhibit related to the Ebola virus.  We should also add Public Health has additional isolation rooms at the northern and southern public health centers. As well GFD and Public Health have personal protective equipment available to healthcare providers and first responders, and Guam Fire has a HAZMAT team ready to deploy.
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