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Darien First Selectman Says Town Is Prepared For Ebola Threat

Jayme Stevenson
Jayme Stevenson Photo Credit: File

DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien has taken many steps to make sure the town is prepared for a possible case of Ebola as the outbreak hits much closer to home, according to a statement released Friday by Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.

First responders, including ambulance crews, police and fire, and health care workers, in the town are all properly trained, Stevenson said in a statement.

"As First Selectman, I have convened regular meetings with the Health Department, Emergency Management Director, Emergency Responders, including Post 53, Police and Fire Departments to facilitate an organized response, sensitive to public health and safety, should a situation arise," Stevenson said of the possibility of a suspected Ebola case in town.

"As CEO, I am participating in ongoing regional discussions to ensure an organized regional approach to any emergency."

Stevenson said she and other officials participate in all state, regional and local meetings, conference calls and discussions on the topic of Ebola and continue to monitor the situation.

Post 53 is following all State Department of Health recommendations and is being advised by both Stamford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, she said.

"Protocols are in place for the care and transport of any confirmed or at-risk patients," Stevenson said.

Stamford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital and Post 53 have participated in Gov. Dannel Malloy's mandated Ebola response drills and are ready to provide specialized care, she said.

Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols have been updated to ensure appropriate patient response and first responder safety, Stevenson said.

Ebola preparedness information has been shared with all local healthcare providers, she said.

Malloy has directed any person who has traveled from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone to Connecticut be quarantined for 21 days. Nine individuals in the state are currently under quarantine.

"Given the fact that the current criteria for quarantining individuals is simply due to the risk posed by travel from affected regions, it is highly unlikely that the majority of individuals who are quarantined are infected with Ebola," said town medical adviser Dr. Caleb Moore. "Consequently, these individuals pose little risk to the public.”

A quarantined individual is not sick, Stevenson said. The purpose of quarantine, as stated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is to monitor at-risk individuals who show no signs of illness. This is a precautionary measure to protect the public in the event that individual begins to show signs of a communicable illness.

For 21 days, the individual being quarantined remains at home, away from the public, and local health officials are required to check in with these individuals at least twice a day. If any changes are noted, appropriate care can be provided quickly and safely.

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