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David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Health Department on Watch for Ebola

October 8, 2014 - Ebola Virus Disease - Disease

Just weeks ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a prediction.

It estimated that, given world travel patterns, the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States could come as soon as the end of September.

Late last Tuesday afternoon came the announcement about the case in Dallas. The date the news broke: September 30th.

It says a lot about the expertise of the CDC that they nailed the estimation…it also speaks to the benefit of health care professionals on the lookout for trouble.

The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) provides surveillance and, when necessary, response to any number of infectious diseases, including Ebola.

“We have a close working relationship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will incorporate any new guidelines that may develop from its current collaborative investigation with Texas on the Dallas case and more,” said NMDOH Deputy State Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Epidemiology Bureau Chief Dr. Joan Baumbach. “Current CDC guidelines on Ebola have been shared with healthcare providers and others statewide, as will any new guidelines.”

The New Mexico Department of Health is actively working with healthcare providers, healthcare systems, EMS providers, and others to encourage early recognition of patients who potentially have symptoms consistent with Ebola virus disease and potential exposure history or travel in West Africa, which is at the center of the world’s Ebola outbreak.

Health care providers around the state are advised to consider Ebola in patients who present with illness within 21 days after traveling from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone.

According to NMDOH and CDC guidelines, they should immediately take infection control precautions and contact the state health department.

Any hospital following strict CDC infection control recommendations and that can isolate a patient in their own room with a private bathroom is capable of safely managing a patient with Ebola.

"We are stopping Ebola in its tracks in this country," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. "We can do that because of two things: strong infection control that stops the spread of Ebola in health care; and strong core public health functions to trace contacts, track contacts, isolate them if they have any symptoms and stop the chain of transmission. I am certain we will control this."

For more information on Ebola and NMDOH’s infectious disease surveillance efforts, visit the Epidemiology and Response section of our website.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.


Versión en Español

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El Departamento de Salud está Vigilando por Ébola