The following message about Ebola is from Kaiser Permanente:
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and recent cases here in the United States are serious. We want you to know that Kaiser Permanente is monitoring the situation closely and taking direct action in response to be sure we’re ready. As always, your health and well-being are our top priorities.
Most public health experts continue to believe it’s very unlikely that Ebola will become an epidemic in the U.S. Even so, we’re committed to being prepared in the rare event the virus does spread beyond the recent cases in Texas.
What is Kaiser Permanente doing to prepare?
We’re dedicated to protecting our patients, members, physicians, nurses, and entire staff. We’ve taken a wide range of steps to be ready to safely evaluate and treat anyone who might have Ebola:
- We’re meeting or exceeding all recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are working closely with public health officials. This includes making sure our caregivers have the right equipment and training in case they do need to treat a patient with Ebola.
- We’ve updated our clinical procedures and training protocols based on the latest information from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the handful of cases here in the U.S.
- We’re following national and state standards for early detection and care.
- We have an expert team of infectious disease and emergency management specialists overseeing the process to make sure our patients and staff are protected.
What to do if you have symptoms or think you’ve been exposed Public health experts have confirmed that Ebola can only be spread through direct contact with the body fluids of someone sick with Ebola, or objects contaminated with the virus (like needles).
- Ebola is NOT spread through casual contact.
- Ebola can only be spread when people who have the virus are actively showing symptoms.
If you recently traveled to Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Liberia and have a fever or are otherwise ill, or you’ve been in contact with someone who was diagnosed with Ebola, call your Doctor or Advice Nurse.
Please call us before coming to a Kaiser Permanente facility. This will help our medical staff direct you to the right location and quickly provide you with the best care possible. However, if you reasonably believe you’re experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.
What are the symptoms?
The most important early symptom of Ebola in someone who’s been exposed to the virus is a fever. Patients may also have: headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, or abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anytime from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the Ebola virus, though 8 to 10 days is most common.
QUESTION FROM CLAYCORD: Do you think people are over-reacting when it comes to Ebola?