More Than 200 Public Health Locations Discuss Ebola in Statewide Video Conference

November 10, 2014

Public health practitioners from across the State of Georgia gathered virtually last week for a video-enabled dialogue on Ebola preparedness efforts in Georgia. The conversation, broadcast to 203 public health buildings throughout the state, focused on proactive measures being taken in Georgia to both contain the spread of the Ebola virus and treat potential cases.

“Our most important role is one of coordination,” said DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald. M.D. “And DPH, with your help in every corner of Georgia, is working like never before to unite our medical community, EMS providers, the general public – all of Georgia – to be as prepared as we can possibly be.”

More than 3,000 public health employees listened as Fitzgerald, along with State Epidemiologist Cherie Drenzek, D.V.M, explained ongoing preparations and planning among hospitals, local governments, the university and education communities, and Georgia’s Ebola Response Team, a special advisory committee convened by Gov. Deal last month.

“We will be providing three layers of hospital care in the event we see Ebola in Georgia,” Fitzgerald said. “We, and the nation, have learned a great deal from Emory University Hospital.”

“We are ensuring that Georgia’s hospitals can identify, isolate and inform,” Drenzek said. “We absolutely know the key to containing Ebola will be early identification and rapid isolation once a case has been identified.”

Before closing the conference, Commissioner Fitzgerald reminded all DPH employees of how they can support the state’s Ebola preparedness efforts by educating their community members about the facts of Ebola and reiterating the importance of effective hand hygiene methods when working to reduce the spread of the disease.

“No matter your title, your role in this effort is to help us increase public awareness,” Fitzgerald said. “Share with your friends and neighbors what Georgia is doing to protect our state. Remind them that Ebola is only spread through body fluids.”  

Last Wednesday’s video conference was hosted by the division of communications and made possible through the department’s statewide TeleHealth video network.

For Ebola-related guidance and information, visit DPH online at www.dph.ga.gov/ebola.

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November 10, 2014

Ebola response plans are being coordinated throughout every corner of Georgia. Public health professionals, government officials, health care providers and community activists are forging collaborative partnerships to ensure Georgians are protected from Ebola public health threats and educated about the virus.