Basic Ebola Information for Our Community
Friday, October 17, 2014
We'd like to provide some basic information to our community and patients, who may be wondering about our facility's level of preparedness for Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. Ensuring the health and safety of every patient, visitor and staff member is, and always has been, our primary mission. We are deeply committed to maintaining the highest standards and most current protocols and training to minimize the risk of anyone contracting an infectious disease like Ebola. For many years, we've had strict infection control protocols in place to prepare for, and treat, the many public health concerns that arise - from HIV/AIDS, H1N1, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and different strains of the flu, to name just a few. Just one death from Ebola has occurred in the United States. By contrast, the flu kills more than 30,000 people each year. Surprisingly, millions who could benefit from a flu shot every year do not get one.
Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital and our physician practices at Signature Medical Group are actively participating in phone calls and educational opportunities with local and national health organizations (CDC, DPH, MHA) to understand and implement their recommendations for keeping our staff and patients safe. Like every hospital, we are working very hard to meet the guidelines that have been provided. Infection control specialists (we have nurses and doctors on staff who specialize in infectious disease) at Signature Healthcare analyze new information and refine our practices to meet these guidelines. Our goal is always to provide skilled compassionate care to our patients, while protecting our community from the spread of illness.
Have you traveled to West Africa in the last month, or have you had contact with someone who has? If you answered ‘Yes’, please call your physician or the hospital (508-941-7000) before coming in for care so we can be sure to care for you safely.
The Ebola virus is common in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Infected people become very sick with fever, muscle pain, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, and bleeding. The only way to get Ebola is to touch the body fluids (including, but not limited to, sputum, feces, saliva, urine, vomit, semen, sweat) of someone who is sick. It is important to note that unlike other common viruses, Ebola is NOT spread through the air. It is very rare in the United States. After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola.