Perdue Commends University Of Georgia’s Ebola Precautions
The University of Georgia recently cancelled the visit of a Liberian journalist out of concern for the spread of Ebola. Regarding the University’s decision, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, David Perdue, made the following statement:
“The Ebola crisis continues to be a serious concern here in Georgia. The President’s lack of leadership on the matter is putting American lives at risk. The national response to Ebola must be a comprehensive, well-coordinated effort that includes a travel ban from Ebola-stricken countries. I’m encouraged to see The University of Georgia take additional precautions to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our students and communities. Our federal government must follow their lead and enact a travel ban immediately.”(more…)
Deal: Team to combat risks of Ebola should the need arise
Advisory group comprised of leaders in health and research communities, state agencies
Gov. Nathan Deal today named the members of the Georgia Ebola Response Team, which was created by executive order to assess current state health and emergency management procedures and produce necessary recommendations to minimize any potential impact of the disease in Georgia.
“Those that have been chosen to serve on the panel are leaders in their respective fields, and I’m confident that their combined talents and experience will allow them to effectively examine state preparedness and provide all necessary recommendations,” said Deal. “By opening up lines of communication between the private and public sector, Georgia is uniquely positioned to combat the risks of Ebola should the need arise and protect the health of the people of our state. An informed public and a prepared group of first responders and health care professionals can save lives. Let me reiterate: As a state, we are taking every precaution to make certain Georgia stands prepared.”
The Ebola response team will be chaired by Brenda Fitzgerald, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. A full list of team members below:
A new television ad from Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn seeks to refute an attack used by her Republican opponent, David Perdue.
In the ad, Nunn references a photo taken of her and President Obama that Perdue and other groups have been using in their ads as they try tying her to Obama, who is deeply unpopular in Georgia.
It’s a bold attempt to refute Perdue’s attacks — but it’s infuriated the 41st president, who has endorsed Perdue despite his previous work with Nunn.
In a statement issued Monday, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said that “Michelle and her team have been clearly, repeatedly and consistently told that President Bush did not want them to use his photo as part of this campaign. Apparently, the Nunn team feels they can repeatedly disregard the former president’s wishes, which is very disappointing because it’s so disrespectful.”
The White House recently announced that President Obama will appoint Washington lobbyist and the former chief of staff to Vice President Biden, Ron Klain, as the “Ebola Czar.”
The move, a purely political stunt, is just another example of President Obama failing to lead. The appointment of Klain is a continuation of business as usual in Washington. Georgians are ready for a new direction.
“It is absurd that President Obama thinks that a partisan lobbyist with zero medical or health care experience should be the point man on the national response to the Ebola crisis. The fact that Michelle Nunn believes that Washington insider and lobbyist Ron Klain is an appropriate choice speaks to her lack of judgment and her deference, once again, to President Obama’s poor decisions,” said Perdue spokeswoman Megan Whittemore. (more…)
Rita Allen is a registered nurse who’s certified in infection control at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital.
She says the hospitals have to be prepared to prevent infections.
“We’re watching what’s going on around the world. We know diseases like this can travel — it’s an open world,” Allen said. “We hope we never get an Ebola patient here, but if we do, we’ll be prepared to treat them.”
Ebola has stricken more than 8,000 people in West Africa, primarily in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since March, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 3,800 people have died.
One key to preventing the spread of Ebola is early dection, said Dr. Jay Goldstein, medical director of the Emergency Department at Savannah’s Memorial University Medical Center.
Ebola, which is not airborne and is only spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, has a 21-day incubation period during which patients show no signs of infection and are not contagious, according to the CDC.
One challenge, Goldstein said, is that early signs of Ebola are similar to the common flu.
“There is no red flag except for travel or contact history,” he said. “For the most part patients initially present with almost exactly the same symptoms as flu patients. That’s the scary reality of this illness.”
Goldstein and Allen agreed that if a patient who recently has been in West Africa shows any symptoms, the patient would be placed in isolation.
The next step, hospital officials said, would be to alert public health officials, starting with the Coastal Health District who would be responsible for tracking and responding to a disease outbreak such as Ebola.
Coastal Health spokeswoman Sally Silbermann said her agency would advise health workers of recommendations made by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identify and contact anyone who may have had contact with the patient and distribute information to the public.
“The ultimate goal of public health, along with our community partners, is to work together to do whatever is necessary to ensure the public’s health and safety,” she said.
Because there are so many different ways to access the Savannah area, it’s important area health officials be prepared to treat infectious diseases such as Ebola, Allen said.
“It is concerning because we’re in a port city, there’s (Interstate) 95, we have an airport, there is military here. These are all things that you take into consideration with any type of infection control plan,” she said.
Allen said St. Joseph’s/Candler would likely keep an Ebola patient there for treatment, while Goldstein said Memorial might consider transporting the patient to another hospital, perhaps Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital, where stricken aid workers recovered from the infection earlier this year.
In either case, both health systems have the necessary protective equipment for staff members and would place patients in low-trafficked isolation areas.
State Health Officer Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald says hospitals across the state either have or will do exercises to prepare for a patient with symptoms.
Fitzgerald says any hospital in the state is capable of isolating a patient whose travel history and symptoms indicate they could have the virus. She also defended Deal, who has been criticized for saying that water kills the Ebola virus.
Deal says the group will be composed of representatives from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the state Department of Community Health and other organizations — including Emory University Hospital, which has treated four Americans that have been diagnosed with the virus.
Deal says the team will convene this week and begin issuing recommendations immediately.
Atlanta city officials have also asked department heads for plans and preventative strategies on Ebola and other diseases.
During his time in office, Cagle has poured his energy primarily into two projects.
One is a pool of taxpayer funds and venture-capital cash that will be invested in start-up companies as a way to eventually stimulate job creation.
The second is a growing network of high schools called career academies that offer technical skills and some college courses. He wants to have more of them across the state.
“Furthermore, I am committed to expanding our efforts to ensure our students have the skills they need to compete in the 21st Century global economy by launching a world-class apprenticeship program that exposes children to the experience and skills needed to get a job,” he said.
Stokes, though, blames him for what she considers inadequate funding of public schools. She argues that enough waste can be cut to boost education funding.
“It’s budgetary,” she said. “We want to make sure that we have no debt in education.”
An additional priority of hers is the expansion of Medicaid by using financial incentives in the federal Affordable Care Act. Although Republicans say state taxpayers can’t afford it, according to her, expansion would actually boost the economy and create health care jobs while extending benefits to more people.