There are no reported cases of the Ebola virus in Charles County or Maryland; however, given the seriousness of the Ebola outbreak in western Africa and the recent cases diagnosed in the U.S., local government and health care officials are at an increased level of preparedness regarding the potential risk of Ebola.
Charles County leaders are working closely to ensure the safety of the public in the event of an Ebola incident. On Oct. 15, Charles County Government officials met with key representatives from the Department of Emergency Services, Charles County Health Department, Charles County Sheriff’s Office, and University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center to discuss countywide Ebola preparedness measures.
Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney said, “While we are at a heightened awareness, there is no current risk of the Ebola virus in this area. Extensive planning is taking place nationally as well as on the state level and locally.”
The Charles County Department of Health is in continuous communication with the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the latest information regarding Ebola. On Oct. 28 during the County Commissioners meeting session, Dr. Abney will provide a report on the Ebola virus, flu season, and other health matters of interest to Charles County residents. Commissioners meetings are broadcast on CCGTV cable television stations (Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10) with online viewing available at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov.
The CDC and top health officials in the region have said the risk of Ebola spreading widely in the United States is low. Ebola is spread through direct contact with body fluids from a person who has symptomatic Ebola virus disease. For more detailed information about the disease, visit the CDC website, www.cdc.gov.
“With all of the recent attention to Ebola, it is important to be mindful of the upcoming flu and pneumonia season. All residents are urged to get a flu shot and those over 65 should get a one-time pneumonia vaccination,” added Dr. Abney.