The recent news of Texas patients confirmed to be ill with the Ebola virus has prompted many questions from our patients and community members. Please know that your healthcare providers are following strict guidance from federal and international experts to protect our community from this and other infectious diseases.
Calvert Memorial Hospital and the Health Department have teamed up with our local EMS (emergency medical services) to develop a coordinated system of surveillance and response to any potential cases of Ebola. We are in daily contact with the Maryland and federal experts on Ebola preparedness. We have developed plans to protect the health of the community if anyone is suspected of carrying the virus. Protocols have also been developed to protect workers who may need to come in contact with anyone being treated for the disease. We are in the process of educating healthcare workers on these protocols and conducting training exercises.
Community members seeking care at the hospital or a local provider’s office can expect to be asked about recent overseas travel history, particularly to affected countries in West Africa. Callers requesting 911 medical assistance can expect the same telephone screening from our EMS providers. The key to preventing the spread of the virus is rapid identification and isolation of potential cases.
Any patient who meets both of the criteria below will be moved immediately to a private room for isolation and testing:
1. Signs and symptoms of Ebola. These include fever; headache; joint and muscle aches; weakness; fatigue; diarrhea; vomiting; stomach pain; lack of appetite; and, in some cases bleeding.
2. Travel to West Africa in the 3 weeks (21 days) before symptoms started. Countries include Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone or any country where the World Health organization has reported Ebola transmission.
In addition, the CDC will be notified as well as our state and local health departments.
More information on Ebola can be found here:
Get the Facts on Ebola
Local health experts, Dr. Larry Polsky, head of the Calvert County Health Department and Dr. Paul Pomilla, Director of Infection Control at Calvert Memorial Hospital, answer common questions about Ebola.