Comments received by Etopia News from the California and Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health indicate that these agencies believe that there is not much of a threat of an Ebola outbreak within their territories and that existing facilities are sufficiently prepared to cope with any such outbreak.
Asked “Has the department catalogued and analyzed the availability of resources within the state to meet the emergency needs that an outbreak of Ebola in the state would generate?” a spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health responded:
“Both CDC and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continue to prepare for the unlikely event that a returning traveler from these countries is infected with Ebola virus. CDPH is working with local health departments across California to assess the readiness of health care facilities to handle patients who may have Ebola. Hospitals have resources to effectively isolate patients. Local health departments have resources to follow up on any persons in the community who may be exposed.”
Asked the same thing about its own area, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County of Public Health responded by saying:
“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health does not anticipate an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to occur in the county, however Public Health is prepared should an incidence of EVD occur. In the event of multiple cases of illness, Public Health and its County partners are able to swiftly respond. This readiness includes the ability to identify and diagnose any suspected EVD case through the Public Health Laboratory, isolate the patient in the event a diagnosis is confirmed, provide appropriate care with strict infection control, and work with those who have contact with the patient.
“Public Health is confident that the level of precaution required to protect against EVD is well within the capabilities of all hospitals in Los Angeles County. The Department has provided information about the diagnosis and management of suspected cases of Ebola to health care providers and all hospitals in the County. In addition, quarantine stations, under the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are available in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, should the need arise.
The spokesperson added, “A survey of the County’s overall readiness is not available for distribution.”
Neither agency had anything to say about the safe disposal of Ebola-contaminated materials, including protective gear, which emerged as an issue during the treatment of Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, as reported in an article from Reuters entitled “US hospitals unprepared to handle Ebola waste.”