October 22, 2014 – According to Ed Rivers of the Scott County Health Department (SCHD), there are no reported or suspected cases of Ebola in the Quad Cities. In fact, there is a very low likelihood of an incident in the area.
SCHD has been working with community partners to refine response protocols should there be a suspected Ebola case. Drills have been performed with Genesis Health System, and arrangements have been made to secure personal protective equipment and facilitate proper transportation of patients and treatment of waste materials. Should there be a suspected or actual case or risk of Ebola, SCHD would work with the Iowa Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for further guidance on quarantine, risk tracing, and treatment.
Rock Island County Health Department and Unity Point have been conducting similar activities in preparation for suspected cases. If the disease is confirmed in an individual, they will be transported to treatment facilities in Iowa City, Chicago, or Omaha.
Ebola is a virus that was first found in fruit bats. The virus spread to humans through direct contact with the bats or by eating an animal that had been infected. The incubation time is 2-21 days and manifests as fever, joint pain, headache, and a sore throat. It is not airborne nor spread by water or food, but only by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids. In the seven cases of Ebola in the U.S., there was only one fatality. In comparison, more than 40,000 people die of influenza per year on average.