The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Ebola
poses no significant risk to the United States. Despite the low risk,
St. John's Medical Center, Teton County Public Health Department,
and other area agencies have heightened their awareness of the Ebola issue
and are prepared to help protect Teton County.
Staff at St. John's Medical Center and its affiliated physician clinics
are trained to follow CDC protocols for infection control, including evaluating
patient's symptoms and travel history, exercising appropriate triage
techniques, knowing when and how to use personal protective equipment,
and safely transferring patients to isolation rooms when necessary.
According to St. John's CEO Lou Hochheiser, MD, "Although the
likelihood of Ebola reaching Jackson is extremely low, our staff is well
trained and prepared to handle patients with infectious diseases, including
Ebola. Patients can safely receive initial treatment in our facilities."
The hospital, Teton County Public Health Department, and other entities
are working closely together. Teton County Public Health is prepared to
coordinate response efforts with St. John’s and other local agencies
if needed. Teton County Health Officer Travis Riddell, MD, stated, "Teton
County Public Health is confident in the support we would receive from
the Wyoming Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control."
Dr. Riddell added, “It is important to recognize that our community
has a modern healthcare system and public health professionals to help
protect our community."
Ebola is very different from familiar diseases, such as influenza, that
spread easily and rapidly. Ebola is not contagious through the air, water, or food.
The only way a person can contract Ebola is by touching the blood or body
fluids of a person who is sick with, or has died from, Ebola. Bodily fluids
include, but are not limited to, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, sweat, breast
milk, and semen.
For more information, contact Jodie Pond, Director of Public Health, at
St. John's Medical Center: Karen Connelly, 307 739 7380,
Teton County: Charlotte Reynolds, 307 732 5786,
October 6, 2014: This press release was updated to include a definition
of bodily fluids.