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St. John Parish takes Proactive Measures against Ebola

Thursday, October 16, 2014 

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – Parish Officials are working closely with the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) as well as the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) to monitor the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Louisiana. To date, there have been no reports of EVD entering the state. 

The Office of Public Safety, Office of Fire Services, Communications Department and the 911 Communications Center are currently engaging in conference calls and training sessions to receive updated information from DHH and the Louisiana Office of Public Health on plans to prevent and manage EVD.  In addition, Parish EMS, first responders and the 911 center have implemented a comprehensive infection control plan directed by DHH to ensure proper dispatch and response, if a case is suspected in the Parish. River Parishes Hospital and the St. John Parish School System are also taking protective measures and remain in communication with Public Safety officials.

Residents are urged to remain calm, but vigilant.  EVD is not a foodborne, waterborne or airborne illness.  Most often found in persons who have traveled from or to an Ebola-infected country, Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids such as blood, vomit and sweat of an infected person or infectious wild animal (bats, nonhuman primates).  Symptoms are flu-like and include sudden fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting blood and mental confusion. Proper disinfection techniques like washing hands with soap and water serve as preventive measures.

Fact sheets, details, and resources on EVD, have been placed on the St. John the Baptist Parish website and will be available at Parish libraries, the Council on Aging Buildings, the Health Unit, Percy Hebert Building and Edgard Courthouse. Visit sjbparish.com and click “Ebola Information” to view more information online.  Further information can be found on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at cdc.gov/ebola.  To report a suspected case, contact the Louisiana Office of Public Health immediately at 504-568-8313 or after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends call 800-256-2748.  

Ebola Prevention

  • ·     Practice careful hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • ·     Avoid direct contact with blood, saliva, vomit, urine and other bodily fluids of people with EVD or unknown illnesses
  • ·     Avoid direct contact with bodies of people who died of EVD or unknown illnesses
  • ·     Avoid contact with any medical equipment, such as needles, contaminated with blood or bodily fluids
  • ·     Avoid close contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals
  • ·     Know the symptoms of EVD (flu-like symptoms) and see a health care provider if they develop
  • ·     Closely monitor health during and after travel/seek medical attention immediately if a fever and any other symptoms arise during or after travel
  • ·     If traveling to an Ebola stricken-country take proper precautions as mandated by the CDC

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