Health Blog

Ebola Update: 10-24-2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

With the first confirmed case of Ebola in NYC, we remind Morris County residents that there are no cases in New Jersey. The patient in NYC remains in isolation and the three close contacts have been identified and are now in quarantine. NYC has begun to identify people who may have had contact with the patient, but are not considered close contacts.

We continue to update the Morris Health website with the most current information on Ebola from New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. We are coordinating with state and local health care partners to be watchful for any potential cases or close contacts.


What You Need to Know About Ebola 10-15-2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A person infected with Ebola can’t spread the disease until symptoms appear

The time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear (the incubation period) is 2 to 21 days, but the average time is 8 to 10 days. Signs of Ebola include fever (higher than 101.5°F) and symptoms like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids

Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose, or mouth) with:

  • Blood and body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.
  • Objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.

Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food.

Protect yourself against Ebola

There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola. Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.

To protect yourself from Ebola

  • DO wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


  • Do NOT touch the blood or body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of people who are sick.
  • Do NOT handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids, like clothes, bedding, needles.
  • Do NOT touch the body of someone who has died of Ebola


source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/ebola 


Enterovirus D68 In Communities in New Jersey 10-01-2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

As NJ continues to test people that may be sick with Enterovirus D68, they are beginning to find cases in N.J. So far a handful of people have tested positive. More people have tested positive for other enteroviruses and the cold virus It is important to know that this is the end of the enterovirus season and the beginning of flu season.

Anyone who has a cold that worsens quickly and/or develops breathing difficulties should contact their health care provider. Once again, the best prevention for illness is hand washing: often and with warm water and soap. Hand sanitizers are not as effective against viruses.

For more information, visit the New Jersey Department of Health website and review the Frequently Asked Questions, which is routinely updated. http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/ev_faq.pdf 


First Case of Ebola in the U.S. - CDC Press Release 09/30/2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed today, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas from Liberia. The patient did not have symptoms when leaving West Africa, but developed symptoms approximately four days after arriving in the U.S. on Sept. 20.

The person fell ill on Sept. 24 and sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas on Sept. 26. After developing symptoms consistent with Ebola, he was admitted to hospital on Sept. 28. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing at CDC and at a Texas lab participating in the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network. CDC and the Texas Health Department reported the laboratory test results to the medical center to inform the patient. A CDC team is being dispatched to Dallas to assist with the investigation.

“Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities,” said CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.”

The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring, as Ebola is contagious only if the person is experiencing active symptoms. The person reported developing symptoms several days after the return flight. Anyone concerned about possible exposure may call CDC-Info at 800-CDC-INFO for more information.

CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person, and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

We do know how to stop Ebola’s further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.

CDC has been anticipating and preparing for a case of Ebola in the United States. We have been:

•Enhancing surveillance and laboratory testing capacity in states to detect cases •Developing guidance and tools for health departments to conduct public health investigations •Providing recommendations for  healthcare infection control and other measures to prevent disease spread •Providing guidance for flight crews, Emergency Medical Services units at airports, and Customs and Border Protection officers about reporting ill travelers to CDC •Disseminating up-to-date information to the general public, international travelers, and public health partners The data health officials have seen in the past few decades since Ebola was discovered indicate that it is not spread through casual contact or through the air. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated. The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period (although it ranges from 2 to 21 days); CDC recommends monitoring exposed people for symptoms a complete 21 days. People are not contagious after exposure unless they develop symptoms.

More information is available at www.cdc.gov/ebola.


Ebola Crisis in West Africa Prompts Strictest Warning - July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

CDC on Thursday, July 31, issued a warning to avoid all nonessential travel to the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The Level 3 travel warning, which is the highest level possible, is a reflection of the worsening Ebola outbreak in that region.

“This is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak in history,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news release, adding: “It will take many months, and it won’t be easy, but Ebola can be stopped. We know what needs to be done. CDC is surging our response, sending 50 additional disease control experts to the region in the next 30 days.”

In addition to warning travelers to avoid going to the region, CDC is also assisting with active screening and education efforts on the ground in West Africa to prevent sick travelers from getting on planes. On the remote possibility that they do, CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease. These include notification to CDC of ill passengers on a plane before arrival, investigation of ill travelers, and, if necessary, quarantine. Earlier in the week CDC issued a Health Alert Notice.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

When an infection does occur in humans, there are several ways in which the virus can be transmitted to others. These include:
        •direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person
        •exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions

Ebola does not spread through the air or respiratory droplets like flu or other contagious illnesses. For more information, visit, www.cdc.gov/ebola


CDC Report Shows 20-year US Immunization Program Prevent Vaccine Preventable Disease May 5, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

The CDC estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years. Despite the U.S. immunization program’s success, according to CDC officials, 129 people in the U.S. have been reported to have measles this year in 13 outbreaks, as of April 18.   
In 1994, the Vaccines for Children program (VFC) was launched in direct response to a measles resurgence in the United States that caused tens of thousands of cases and over a hundred deaths, despite the availability of a measles vaccine since 1963. The VFC program provides vaccines to children whose parents or caregivers might otherwise be unable to afford them.
This year’s 20th anniversary of the VFC program’s implementation is occurring during an increase in measles cases in the U.S. In 2013, 189 Americans had measles.  In 2011, 220 people in the U.S. were reported as having measles--the highest number of annual cases since 1996. 
"Thanks to the VFC program,  children in our country are no longer at significant risk from diseases that once killed thousands each year,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “Current outbreaks of measles in the U.S. serve as a reminder that these diseases are only a plane ride away. Borders can’t stop measles, but vaccination can.”
The CDC reports 34 people, among the 129 cases this year, brought measles into the U.S. after being infected in other countries. Though not direct imports, most of the remaining cases are known to be linked to importations.  Most people who reported having measles in 2014 were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status.
Because measles is a highly contagious disease, it can spread quickly among unvaccinated people.  The CDC recommends people of all ages keep up to date with their vaccinations.  CDC recommends two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine for everyone starting at age 12 months.  Infants 6 through 11 months old should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before international travel. 
For children born during the VFC era, the U.S. immunization program continues to pay enormous benefits.  According to analysis by the CDC, hospitalizations avoided and lives saved through vaccination will save nearly $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.  Parents can learn more about the VFC program at http://www.cdc.gov/features/vfcprogram/.
April 26th is the start of National Infant Immunization Week, which will bring together communities across the country in raising awareness about the importance immunization.  For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

However, not all diseases that threaten U.S. borders can be prevented today by vaccines and require different strategies to protect Americans. “The health security of the United States is only as strong as the health security of all nations around the world. We are all connected by the food we eat, the water we drink, and air we breathe,” said Dr. Frieden. “Stopping outbreaks where they start is the most effective and least costly way to prevent disease and save lives at home and abroad – and it’s the right thing to do.”
Source: www.cdc.gov/vaccines April 24, 2014


Were You Affected by Super Storm Sandy?

Friday, March 21, 2014

If you were affected by Super Storm Sandy, or if you still are affected by this storm, the Morris County Office of Health Management invites you to take our survey. We are hosting a short health and wellness survey on our website to understand how the residents of Morris County were affected and might still be.

The survey is anonymous and will help us better plan and respond to other storms that may come our way.

Here is the link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SuperstormSandyAssessmentSurvey  

If you have questions you can contact our office at 973-631-5484.


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