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Cape Girardeau County Plans Ahead In Case Of Ebola

Center for Disease Control
The different health agencies are mainly trying to be proactive in case a case actually occurs.

Public health agencies in Cape Girardeau say they are ready to face a case of Ebola in the event that a patient with the disease would appear in the region.

The Ebola virus is a severe disease, formerly known as the haemorrhagic fever, and presents symptoms very similar to the flu, such as headaches, fever, muscle pain, and so forth.

Assistant fire chief for the Cape Girardeau Fire Department Mark Hasheider said the emergency responders there are preparing by reviewing their policies and procedures regarding contagious diseases.

“We make sure we are up to date with our procedures with the Ebola situations,” Hasheider said.

He added that Missouri’s Health Department is also looking at what states with actual cases of Ebola are doing to see what works and what measures can be taken. The different health agencies are mainly trying to be proactive in case a case actually occurs.

In the event that a person would show concerning signs, the plan is to determine the type of symptoms they have and get background information to see if the person could be tied to the outbreak in West Africa. One of the other first steps is to isolate the patient.

Hasheider said the actual concern in the region is not Ebola but the upcoming flu season.

“We’ll be going into the flu season here shortly, in which we’ll probably see a lot of flu cases and in all those flu cases, zero will be tied to someone who’s been to West Africa,” he said.

He added the flu can actually harm more people than the Ebola virus.

“The Ebola is going to be very contained, whereas the flu season can hit our elderly and our very young and I would encourage people to consider as a preparedness to get their flu shot,” Hasheider said.

Representatives at the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center underlined the importance of preparing for the flu as much as for Ebola and urge people to protect themselves against the flu, especially by washing their hands to keep bacteria away.

Marine Perot was a KRCU reporter for KRCU in 2014.