Ebola Monitoring Ends In Northeast Ohio

Jennifer Hanrahan discusses latest Ebola protocols (pic: Brian Bull/Flickr.com's NIAID)
Jennifer Hanrahan discusses latest Ebola protocols (pic: Brian Bull/Flickr.com's NIAID)
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The Ohio Department of Health says the 21-day monitoring period for Ebola expired Tuesday. At its peak, more than 160 Ohioans were being tracked for potential, active, signs of the disease. But three weeks since a Dallas nurse tested positive after flying back from Northeast Ohio, Cleveland officials have given the all-clear.

Jennifer Hanrahan is an infectious disease expert at MetroHealth Medical Center. She says regional hospitals have set up a system for receiving potential Ebola patients. Many would likely be taken to where they have existing health care coverage…but Hanrahan adds there’s no one single location for patients to be shuttled to should a case arise.

“If there’s an emergency situation going on, then I don’t expect EMS to drive further than the nearest hospital," says Hanrahan.

"Any of the hospitals would get a telephone call that there’s a potential patient coming in, and then each hospital has plans for where that patient would go. But all hospitals have to have some basic level of preparedness. We’re really not just talking about Ebola, there’s other infectious diseases going forward.”

The latest protocols were tested this past Sunday, when a man who recently returned from Africa feared he may have Ebola. While he eventually tested negative, EMS crews and 911 responders used the opportunity to gauge their readiness in getting him to MetroHealth Medical Center.

With zero cases of Ebola in Ohio, health officials are now pushing flu shots.

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