One of the most basic and ongoing responsibilities of the Department of Public Health is monitoring and responding to emerging health threats, whether in Massachusetts or on the other side of the globe. The recent outbreak of Ebola virus in western Africa has attracted worldwide attention and a coordinated response from public health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) among many others.
Here in Massachusetts, DPH infectious disease and emergency preparedness specialists are closely monitoring the ongoing response to Ebola in Africa – just as we do for any other outbreak of illness or disease. Here are some of the activities which are currently underway:
- DPH is in routine contact with health officials at CDC, who in turn partner with WHO and other global health organizations to ensure that the latest and most up-to-date information about the Ebola outbreak is available to health agencies around the world.
- The Department has been proactively communicating with doctors, EMS providers, local health, hospitals and other health care facilities in Massachusetts to share the latest information on the status of the outbreak.
- We also have informed these partners that we will be providing them with clinical guidance on identifying suspect cases of Ebola virus, safely handling lab specimens, and appropriate protocols of care for patients.
- DPH is committed to working with our local public health and healthcare partners so that our healthcare system is prepared to effectively respond in the extremely unlikely event that a person with symptoms of Ebola virus arrives here.
DPH Guidance for Clinicians
- Clinical Advisory: Management of Suspected Ebola Virus Cases or Contacts
- Screening Tool for Evaluating Risk of Ebola Virus Exposure
- Laboratory Risk Assessment – Revised August 25, 2014
- Laboratory FAQ - Ebola Virus
DPH Guidance for Colleges and Universities
General Information About Ebola Virus
More information about Ebola virus is available at the CDC website.