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Woman Taken Ill at Pentagon Does Not Have Ebola

Posted at 5:20 p.m.

At about 9:10 a.m. today, Pentagon Police officers identified a woman in the Pentagon South Parking Lot, around lanes 17-19, who was ill and vomiting. Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) was notified and responded immediately with both emergency medical aid and HazMat response team.

During the response, the individual allegedly indicated that she had recently visited western Africa. Out of an abundance of caution, all pedestrian and vehicular traffic was suspended around the South Parking lot, while Arlington County responded to the scene.  At 9:53 a.m., the patient was taken to the Virginia Hospital Center; however she did not exit the ambulance. ACFD then transported the patient to Fairfax Inova Hospital.

Based on the public health investigation, which included the travel history of a woman who became ill this morning in a Pentagon parking lot, and on questioning of her by medical staff, medical authorities are confident that she does not have Ebola.

The woman had displayed symptoms consistent with the virus and her travel history was uncertain, so she was put in isolation at Fairfax Inova Hospital. Arlington and Fairfax County personnel took all necessary precautions to protect public health during this event.

National Capital Region Ebola Update

Posted at 3:25 p.m.

There are no cases of Ebola in the National Capital Region. However, measures are in place to effectively deal with an Ebola infected person if one were to arrive in the region. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the top health officials in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia have said the risk of Ebola spreading widely in the United States is low.

Enhanced Screening at Dulles International Airport to Begin on Thursday, Oct. 16

Travelers from the Ebola-affected countries entering the U.S. through Dulles International Airport and four other U.S. airports (New York’s JFK, Newark, Chicago-O’Hare and Atlanta international airports) will receive enhanced entry screening. Screening begins at Dulles tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 16. This screening means that travelers from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone will:

  • Receive information about Ebola, its symptoms, what to do if symptoms develop and information for doctors if travelers need medical attention.
  • Be asked to answer questions to determine their risk of infection, have their temperatures taken and be observed for other symptoms of Ebola.
  • If symptoms exist, be referred to CDC officials on site for further evaluation.

As a result of this process, CDC officials at the airport will determine whether a traveler:

  • Can continue to travel.
  • Should be taken to a hospital for evaluation, testing and treatment.
  • Is referred to a local health department for further monitoring and support.

This enhanced screening of those entering the U.S. from the affected countries in West Africa will support the surveillance and monitoring already in place throughout the region at hospital emergency rooms and other health facilities.

The Ebola virus is transmitted through close contact with an infected patient’s blood or bodily fluids.  For more detailed information about the disease, visit the CDC website, www.cdc.gov, and review the Frequently Asked Questions about Ebola on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments website.

facts about ebola (CDC)

Potential Measles Exposures May 11-15

Posted at 11:30 a.m.

The Virginia Department of Health reports that “out of an abundance of caution, health officials are investigating potential exposures to a second person with measles in the National Capital Region.”

New potential exposure sites and times have been identified that occurred between May 11-15. The locations in Fairfax County include McLean, Herndon, Fairfax, Reston and more. Visit the VDH website for more details.

This new investigation expands the recent one of a measles case in late April in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. The second case of measles was confirmed in a person who was a close contact of the first case. Regional health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify people who may have been exposed to this second case.

After you check the list, please share this information with your family, friends, co-workers and more.

Health Department Expands Lee High School TB Investigation

Posted at 3 p.m.

The Health Department is expanding the tuberculosis (TB) contact investigation that was initiated at Robert E. Lee High School in June after three individuals in the school were diagnosed with active TB disease.

The Health Department now recommends screening and testing for TB infection for all 2012-2013 students, faculty and support staff. In addition, approximately 20 others have been identified as meeting the Health Department’s exposure criteria, which is based on having spent a significant amount of time in the school on multiple occasions and in places where TB transmission may have occurred during the 2012-2013 school year.

While there is no ongoing transmission of TB at Lee High School and the vast majority of the Lee High School community was not at high risk of exposure to TB, the Health Department — out of an abundance of caution — concluded that the expansion is prudent based on multiple factors that included higher-than-expected skin test positivity rate among those who have been tested so far. This expanded level of testing will ensure that everyone who may have been exposed to TB is identified.

The Health Department, in coordination with Fairfax County Public Schools, sent approximately 1,900 letters on July 19 to inform the school community.

The Health Department recommends that only individuals who received a letter plan to attend one of the special clinics that will be held at Lee High School on the dates listed below.

Because the TB test is a two-step process, it is important that when selecting a date for the skin test, the individual is also able to return on the corresponding date for a health care worker to determine whether the test is positive or negative. Returning any other time will require that the skin test be repeated.

TB Testing Schedule at Lee High School

  • Skin Test:  Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Monday, Aug. 5, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Saturday, Aug. 3, 12-6 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m. -12 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Monday, Aug. 5, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Wednesday, Aug. 7, 12-4 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Skin Test:  Thursday, Aug. 8, 12-4 p.m.
  • Skin Test:  Saturday, Aug. 10, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Return for Results:  Monday, Aug. 12, 12-4 p.m.

 More Information about TB.

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