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Medical / Your Health

 

Precautionary Information on

Ebola Virus

 
***As of November 5, 2014, there are no individuals in our area being monitored for potential exposure to the Ebola virus. We continue to monitor credible information regarding Ebola, as we do with any other health threat, and will take any additional precautions as required***

The Streetsboro Fire Department has remained aware of the emergence of the Ebola virus since it made news headlines in early 2014. It's our responsibility to always be aware of potential threats that are affecting or could affect our area.

The following information is provided to you for informational purposes. Although there is no immediate threat of an Ebola virus outbreak in our area, we want you to know the facts surrounding this virus and what your Streetsboro Fire Department emergency personnel have done and continue to do in response to this latest emergence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.

Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa. (Information from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html)

Transmission of the virus:

Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
  • blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.                                      (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/index.html)
Are Streetsboro Fire & EMS personnel prepared?

Yes. Since March, 2014 when Ebola made headlines following its re-emergence in Africa, we have maintained situational awareness on this serious and deadly virus. We have been receiving information from our medical control, University Hospitals, as well as the Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Portage County Health Department and Robinson Memorial Hospital. Recent and ongoing activities relative to the Ebola virus include:

  • Our medical control, University Hospitals, provided continuing education to all Streetsboro Fire Department personnel on infectious diseases, including the Ebola virus.
  • Lt. Bucks attended a meeting at UH Ahuja Medical Center where personal protective equipment (PPE) and guidelines for use were reviewed.
  • At the October Portage County Fire Chief’s meeting, attended by Fire Chief Reinholz, Robinson Memorial Hospital staff reviewed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and preparation for potential exposures.
  • Firefighter Yash inventoried and tested our supply of medical personal protective equipment to ensure a current and adequate supply was on hand.
  • Screening procedures are in place for EMS personnel and are being developed for the dispatch center in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Streetsboro Police have PPE kits in their vehicles already. We continue to share information between departments to ensure all first responders in Streetsboro have the same information.
  • Lt. Grimm has been in daily contact with Ryan Shackelford, Director of the Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to remain abreast of current information on the Ebola virus; maintain situational awareness on incidents relative to the Ebola virus in the local area; implement additional preparations as new information becomes available; review of county-wide emergency support functions (ESF’s) that could be implemented if a case of Ebola or an outbreak were to occur in this area. Additionally, information is being provided via our social media outlets, fire department web site, and via Portage Prepares outlets.
What can you do?
  • Above all, don't panic!
  • Practice careful hygiene if you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak.
  • If you have traveled to an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, immediately report the following to your healthcare provider:
    • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
    • Severe headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Weakness
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising

Remain confident that your Streetsboro Fire Department emergency service providers are constantly aware of situations that can or are affecting our area, and that we make necessary preparations in advance. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control web site at www.cdc.gov  or call the Ohio Departrment of Health Ebola information hotline at 1-866-800-1404

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If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency,
CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.

February is American Heart Month, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. These conditions are also leading causes of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities. Cardiovascular disease is also very expensive—together heart disease and stroke hospitalizations in 2010 cost the nation more than $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity. However, we can fight back against heart disease and stroke. CDC and other parts of the US government have launched Million Hearts™, to prevent the nation's leading killers and empowering everyone to make heart-healthy choices.

What is Million Hearts™?

Launched in September 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Million Hearts™ is a national initiative that aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. This public-private partnership, co-led by CDC and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is integrating and amplifying a range of existing heart disease and stroke prevention programs, policies, and activities. 

Goals of Million Hearts™

The Million Hearts™ Initiative seeks to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by the end of 2016 by:

  • Empowering Americans to make healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco use and reducing the amount of sodium and trans fat they eat. These changes will reduce the number of people who need medical treatment for high blood pressure or cholesterol—and ultimately prevent heart attacks and strokes.
  • Improving care for people who do need treatment by encouraging a focus on the "ABCS"—Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation—four steps to address the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Million Hearts™ Support

Million Hearts™ has the support of multiple federal agencies and key private organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Pharmacists' Association, the YMCA, Walgreens, and UnitedHealthCare. Over the next five years, Million Hearts™ is pursuing commitments and participation from many more partners in health care, public health, industry, and government. These partnerships will help Million Hearts™ leverage and advance existing investments in cardiovascular disease prevention.

What Million Hearts™ Means to You

Heart disease and stroke affects all of our lives, but we can all play a role in ending it. Prevention starts with everyone. Protect yourself and your loved ones from heart disease and stroke by understanding the risks and taking these steps.

  • Drive the initiative by challenging your family and friends to take the Million Hearts™ pledge at www.millionhearts.hhs.gov.
  • Get up and get active by being physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Know your ABCS:
    • Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.
    • Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
    • If you Smoke, get help to quit.
  • Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.
  • Take control of your heart health by following your doctor's prescription instructions.

Together, we can all be one in a million this Heart Month and every month. Learn more about Million Hearts .

CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money to have a more secure nation. A US federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/