DPHSS Leading Preparations for the Ebola Virus Disease Response

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2014 4:55 PM (ChST)
Joint Release No. 14-001

DPHSS Leading Preparations for the Ebola Virus Disease Response

The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) together with the Office of the Governor and Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) have been closely monitoring the events surrounding the Ebola Virus Disease.

Although the likelihood of an Ebola outbreak is low on Guam, DPHSS, Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and other healthcare providers are taking precautionary measures, as per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov

DPHSS 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.

What you need to know about Ebola

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in the western African states of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. In the United States there have only been cases associated with travel to Africa or healthcare providers taking care of the person infected.

• Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids from a person who is infected.
• Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food.
• A person infected with Ebola can’t spread the disease until the symptoms appear.

The time from exposure to when the first symptoms appear is 2 to 21 days, but most people will get sick between 8 and 10 days. Signs of Ebola include fever (higher than 101.5°F), severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexpected bleeding or bruising.

Guam is prepared
• A quarantine room has been identified at the Guam International Airport.
• There are 14 isolation rooms in GMH, and additional rooms at northern and southern Public Health.
• GMH, GFD and Public Health have Personal Protective Equipment available to healthcare providers and first responders.
• GFD has a hazmat team ready to deploy.

Protect yourself
Currently, there is NO Ebola on Guam; however it is influenza season. The following are good general health practices:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Cover your cough.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Update your influenza vaccination.

For more information regarding Ebola please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ or call DPHSS at 735-7307.

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Bertha Taijeron
Program Coordinator
Division of General Administration
Department of Public Health and Social Services
123 Chalan Kareta
Mangilao, Guam 96913-6304
PH: (671) 735-7125
FAX: (671) 734-5910

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