Maine CDC Launches Ebola Website
The Maine Center for Disease Control has launched a new website focused on the Ebola virus. Dr. Sheila Pinette of the CDC says the hope is that the site will educate Mainers about the virus and allay some fears.
The more we hear about the virus, the scarier it seems to get. From an outbreak in Africa, to infected patients’ planes stopping in Bangor, to the latest confirmed case in New York City, it seems like it’s getting closer and closer to home. But Dr. Pinette assured me there have been no confirmed cases in Maine.
“But we do have an Emergency Preparedness network,” Dr. Pinette explained. “We have been building upon it and we are learning from our experiences and learning from the experiences in Texas, and we are collaborating with the Federal CDC, and state and local governments, EMS, FEMA, and law enforcement. We are all trying to stay connected and protect the people of Maine because they are our highest priority.”
The website details what Ebola is, how it’s transmitted, and what the symptoms are. For example, it is not an airborne virus, but must be transmitted through bodily fluids. And an infected patient is not contagious until they are experiencing symptoms.
We also spoke with Tony Caruso of Bangor International Airport recently about the patient-carrying planes that have been stopping at BIA. He assured us that no one gets off or on the planes when they land and nothing is taken off the plane, not even waste. The planes are refueled and then sent on their way, so there is no risk of exposure to the disease.
And, as an added safety measure, Dr. Pinette told us, it was announced today that visitors from West Africa will only be allowed to travel through five national airports in New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Newark, New Jersey.