North Carolina health and safety officials are building a united front to prepare against the Ebola virus.
State Health and Human Services secretary Aldona Wos announced at a press conference yesterday that the Centers for Disease Control has named North Carolina's State Laboratory of Public Health to be a regional hub to test potential Ebola specimens.
DHHS officials say at least 76 of the more than 100 hospitals in the state are running triage and workplace safety drills. EMS and 9-1-1 call centers receive weekly updates about how to gauge and handle potentially-infected people.
State Epidemiologist Megan Davies says it's unlikely for a North Carolinian to catch Ebola, but she adds that preparation is very important.
“Ebola is a serious disease and one we all have to approach with humility, and that's why we're doing all this preparing and drilling and partnering.”
Davies says the state is working to close any gaps in communication and Ebola response.
“We cannot control every circumstance that might occur, but we can do our best to prepare and know that we might have to adjust our plans and our response as we learn from our experiences.”
Davies adds that people don't need to panic. Anyone who hasn't been to West Africa in the past three weeks isn't an Ebola carrier.
She also advised people to get flu shots, so they'll be less likely to raise alarm and be hospitalized with a fever.