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The head of the District’s Department of Health says the city is taking all precautions to make sure it’s prepared for any possible Ebola case.
Director and Chief Medical Office Joxel Garcia wrote on the city’s newly launched Ebola website Thursday that D.C. is “on the frontline in protecting the health and well-being of District of Columbia residents as well as those who work and play in our city.”
Garcia told WAMU that D.C. has an aggressive plan in place and is prepared for any possible outbreak of Ebola. Garcia thinks all hospitals should be prepared for the virus and doesn’t want just one designated Ebola hospital in the area.
The nurse in Dallas who contracted Ebola while caring for the nation’s first Ebola patient was just transferred to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. Other than that, there are no diagnosed cases of the Ebola in the area. Dulles International Airport is now screening passengers traveling from West Africa, particularly countries where the deadly virus has hit hardest like Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
The Department of Health website contains general information about the virus and resources for the public and doctors. Anyone with questions about Ebola is asked to call (202) 442-8141
A reminder: Don’t panic, folks. Julie Fischer, an associate research professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, told City Desk earlier this month that being cautious is important, but there’s no need for a freak out. “The good news in this country is that we have really good resources and training on infection prevention control,” she says.
Panic, the New Yorker’s Michael Specter warned, moves faster than any virus.