NC Health Agencies Mobilize Against Ebola

Oct 14, 2014

String-like Ebola virus particles are shedding from an infected cell in this electron micrograph.
Credit NIH/NIAID via Flickr/Creative Commons

State government leaders say North Carolina is well on the way to being prepared if an Ebola case is diagnosed within our borders.  A state epidemiologist says steps to isolate a contagious and potentially deadly case can be put in place without an emergency order from the governor.   Those actions can include quarantines of people and buildings.  

State DHHS secretary Aldona Wos says the appearance of the disease in this country is prompting many states to respond.

"In light of the two recent cases in Texas, and almost daily reports about Ebola scares in the United States -- including one last Thursday in the western part of our state -- the governor and I thought it would be helpful for us to share information about the preparation that is underway," Vos said.

Wos did not go into specifics about the scare in western North Carolina.

Dr. Megan Davies is the state epidemiologist with the Division of Public Health at DHHS.  She has been one of the leaders in prepping the state for infectious disease readiness in the past. 

Davies says protocols to stop an outbreak are already in place in the state

"To allow for restriction of movement and activities for up to 30 days, and to allow for quarantines of buildings as well as people," Davies says.  "We've also increases access to health records to investigate significant public health threats.  In North Carolina, public health authority can be used without a declaration of emergency."

The state has activated a new public information line for questions about Ebola.  That number is 1-800-222-1222.