Governor Bentley addresses Alabama’s Ebola readiness during news conference
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – National news outlets are following every development of the patient being treated for an Ebola infection in Texas.
It’s prompting other states to take note and think about preparedness, including Governor Robert Bentley and top state health officials in Alabama.
Governor Bentley held a news conference at 8:00 a.m. from the Alabama Department of Public Health in Montgomery to discuss Alabama’s preparedness in case of an Ebola diagnosis in our state.
It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the state of Alabama at this time.
However, that could change and Governor Bentley wants people to know Alabama health officials are already preparing for something, should we see an infection here.
“As with all types of emergencies, preparedness is essential to an effective response,” Gov. Bentley said. “We are making plans to protect the safety and well-being of all Alabamians through public health and our health care providers. Ebola is a very dangerous infectious disease, and we are committed to providing local communities the assistance they need to respond quickly if the need arises.”
The governor appeared with State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson as well as a representative from the Alabama Hospital Association.
Health officials reassured the public that several steps are being taken to ensure that if a case occurs in our state, Alabama is ready to respond.
The Alabama Department of Public Health remains in constant contact with the CDC to ensure that it has the most updated information on how to prevent and respond to Ebola should there be a case in our state. In addition, Public Health has taken several steps to provide local communities, partner organizations and health care providers with information and education that they can use to prepare for response to Ebola.
“Alabama’s hospitals take very seriously any new threat to patients, their families and to health care workers, particularly the latest threat from Ebola,” said J. Michael Horsley, president of the Alabama Hospital Association. “However, it’s important to note that hospitals prepare for the unknown every day and are currently updating their infectious disease plans as needed with the latest information from the Alabama Department of Public Health and the CDC.”
Horsley added , “Through this partnership, and funding made available from the Federal Hospital Preparedness Program, we’ve been able to enhance hospital isolation capability and provide personal protective equipment for employees and to train employees on how to handle such outbreaks. “We’ve always worked hand in glove with Public Health and other state partners in preventing the spread of infection.”
Horsley said, “The good news is that this work is paying off. In a recent CDC report, Alabama was one of only two states in the nation to perform better than all other states in infection prevention in three of the four reporting categories, so we have a strong base to build upon.”
According to National Public Radio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a training program for health workers who are headed to West Africa to help with the outbreak of Ebola.
They are conducting the training at a former Army base in Anniston.
You can visit http://adph.org/ebola/ for the latest information about Ebola.