Marpe: Town prepared to handle Ebola case
Published 1:48 pm, Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Recent cases of the potentially deadly disease, including a death in Texas, have raised concern about the illness that has spread rapidly through several nations in West Africa. A patient was admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital last week after showing symptoms of the disease, but later tests proved negative.
While there is no immediate risk for Ebola in the area at this time, Marpe said, "Westport is appropriately prepared."
He said this includes 911 dispatchers who have been told to "ask the right questions" when monitoring a health call, in particular to determine if the person seeking help "has symptoms of Ebola." He said the town doesn't want to send emergency responders on a call unprepared "if that's the case."
Marpe said he's also been in contact with town administrators and school officials on the matter, including the head nurse in the school system.
On the town's website, Marpe said he, along with the town's emergency operations personnel, the fire and police chiefs and EMS director, as well as the Westport Weston Health District director are receiving daily updates from the CDC on the "necessary and best practices which will be followed should the need arise."
That posting also said that "per the CDC, the general population is not at risk for contracting the Ebola virus" and that people most at risk at contracting it are "individuals who have been in areas with ongoing Ebola outbreaks, health care workers who have treated people with ebola, and individuals who have been in close contact with an Ebola sufferer."
Marpe said that "regardless of the stumbles" by the CDC "right out of the gate," he feels the issue is now being handled well by that agency and that the town is well prepared.