The Cleveland Department of Public Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health held a joint press conference on October 16, 2014, to update the public on the response to the Ebola incident. Director Toinette Parrilla and Commissioner Terry Allan reaffirmed that there are no current cases of Ebola in Northeast Ohio and that Public Health departments city, county, and state wide are taking all necessary precautions and working to inform the public on prevention methods for communicable disease.
“I encourage all Clevelanders to monitor their own health by going out and getting a flu-shot and practicing preventative health measures such as washing your hands and contacting your health provider if you notice a change in your personal health,” said Director of Public Health, Toinette Parrilla.
“We understand that residents and visitors may have questions and concerns regarding the Ebola virus.” “Local Northeast Ohio residents and visitors can dial 2-1-1 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with general questions or contact the CDC for general information about Ebola at (800) CDC-INFO”
Commissioner of the Cuyahgoa County Board of Health Terry Allan reiterated the cooperation between city, county, and state health officials and outlined the efforts currently underway. “We are working to identify those who may be at risk through coming in close contact with this individual,” said Commissioner Terry Allan. “Because the Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, if you have not come into direct contact with this individual or anyone else from West Africa, you need to take that into consideration when evaluating your own risk.”
Assistant Director of Public Safety, Ed Eckart spoke on the efforts to protect first responders as they carry out their duties during this incident. “Although we are comfortable with the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we have in stock for our first responders, the Division of Public Safety has approved purchase orders to acquire additional supplies,” said Eckart. “In addition we have implemented Ebola awareness protocol for our safety forces.”
City of Cleveland Department of Public Health and Cuyahoga County Board of Health Join Incident Command will continue to provide updates as they become available.