Officials purchase extra health equipment, monitor 911 calls in light of Ebola scare

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Extra safety equipment including masks and gloves have been ordered in Cuyahoga County as a safety precaution in light of the Ebola virus concerns.

Terry Allan, of the Cleveland Department of Public Health, and Toinette Parrilla, Cuyahoga County Director of Public Health, said even now, they are prepared and on top of the Ebola virus scare.

“Every hospital should be able to handle an Ebola patient,” said Allan.

Cleveland Department of Public Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health held a joint press conference to discuss those concerns Thursday afternoon — and to stress that no active cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Northeast Ohio.

Yesterday, it was announced that health care worker Amber Vinson has Ebola. Vinson, 29, was one of the nurses who helped care for patient Thomas Eric Duncan in a Dallas hospital. He died from Ebola on Oct. 8.

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Vinson flew from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland on Oct. 10 to visit family and plan her wedding. She made the return trip on Oct. 13 from Cleveland to Dallas/Forth Worth.

Parts of Hopkins have been cleaned and disinfected since she traveled through Cleveland.

Health officials have since been trying to find and interview anyone who may have come in contact with Vinson when she was here.

Health authorities are also monitoring 911 calls in order to capture anyone who may have been contaminated and to pass that on to emergency responders.

Meanwhile, officials encourage Clevelanders to get their flu shots and to understand their own health. The symptoms of the flu are similar to those of Ebola, and it is approaching cold and flu season.

MORE: What are the symptoms of Ebola, how is it transmitted?

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:33 pm

Press conference concludes

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:30 pm

Officials: The patient’s mother left on Oct. 13 and flew through Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:19 pm

Officials: Ebola is not an airborne virus like the flu.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:19 pm

Officials: Quarantine does not mean person/persons contracted Ebola.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:10 pm

Officials: We have annually 36,000 fatalities from the flu. We know this is cold and flu season. If you haven’t had direct contact with the individual or traveled to Africa…put this into perspective.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:09 pm

Allen: There are no active cases of Ebola in Northeast Ohio at this time.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:09 pm

Allen: Those who are quarantined will be monitored for 21 days.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:08 pm

Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allen: It’s a fluid situation. We’ll be doing periodic briefings to make sure the latest info is available.

Kara Sutyak October 16, 20143:07 pm

Officials: Clevelanders encouraged to get flu shots and monitor their health.