Michigan Community Health Prepares For Possibility of Ebola

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Even though there are no Ebola cases in Michigan, the state isn't taking any chances

"We're alert and vigilant at the at the Department of Community Health for the possibility of Ebola coming to Michigan," said Dr. Matthew Davis, the department's Chief Medical Executive.

That involves making sure every hospital and medical facility knows what to do if a patient showing symptoms of Ebola came through the doors.

"What we've been doing now for weeks is answering questions, providing information and helping hospitals understand what they can do to help their healthcare workers feel more prepared and be more prepared," Davis said.

Then it's up to each facility to develop a response plan and train staff.
That involves making sure doctors and nurses can quickly identify and isolate potential patients.

"What also has to happen is that the individuals who are providing care, the health care workers need to use their personal protective equipment as strictly adhering to guidelines to possible," Davis added.

It's an important step towards preventing the disease's spread.

"I think the state of Michigan is prepared, the Michigan Department of Community Health, our CDC have urged and offered a lot of guidance towards preparedness," said Dr. Myral Robbins, President of the Michigan Osteopathic Association.

All to ensure the right procedures are in place to handle whatever comes their way.

"It's that initial care that we know is going to be so important for the health of that person and for the health of the community," Davis said.

The Department of Community Health has a web based alert system, which it is using to notify emergency management facilities of any changes in the state's or CDC's policies regarding Ebola.

But the Michigan Nurses Association is not as confident. In a release on Wednesday it said that few of its members believe their facilities are ready for an outbreak.

The Michigan Health and Hospital Association says it is working to train employees, but it notes that Ebola is something new and wasn't even in the US a few months ago.

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