The Fox Cities has many employers who send employees overseas and churches that have mission groups serving the need of others.
We understand employers and company leadership may hear concerns about Ebola from those traveling abroad. If someone has traveled to an at-risk area, we want to keep you informed and offer advice on how they can self-screen themselves for concerns.
What we know:
There are no Ebola cases in Wisconsin. Ebola is not spread through food, water, or the air. It is only spread through direct contact with blood or body fluid of a person with symptoms of Ebola or who has died from Ebola. We have processes and equipment in place across the ThedaCare system so we can safely and effectively contain and treat patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola.
What we believe:
We believe that the probability of getting a patient with actual Ebola in the Fox Valley is extremely low. We believe that the probability of needing to safely isolate and treat a patient with suspected Ebola, that test results subsequently confirm does not actually have Ebola, is high enough that we have detailed plans in plans in place that will be practiced with drills.
What to do:
If you have a choice, limit all travel to affected areas in Africa until the disease is contained.
If an employee has traveled and is concerned about exposure to Ebola, these two questions are being asked at all of ThedaCare’s contact points to screen:
- In the past 21 days have you been in an area considered high risk for Ebola? (As of Oct. 20, that includes Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa.)
Have you been near or in contact with living or deceased people with Ebola?
If the workers have further concerns, they should call their local emergency department, and the staff can walk them through further questions and address concerns.
Our local public health departments are here to help you too. Please reach out to them if you have more questions. They recommend checking out the state Department of Health Services web site too for more information:
By Mark Hallett, MD, chief clinical officer for ThedaCare.