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Published on October 21, 2014

Local health officials warn of bogus information about Ebola

Written by , 6News Lawrence
Kim Ens, director of clinic services at the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, has been sending out information to health care providers and school nurses about Ebola. Ens said she thinks people have to be really careful about what they're reading and where it's coming from.

"There's a lot of bogus information that's being put out right now that's almost looking like it's coming from the CDC, so it does worry me a little bit," Ens said.

Some may wonder if a community this size would be prepared to handle a case of Ebola, but Ens said she's confident that they are.

"We're trying to get out the message that people in Douglas County are at a very, very low risk for Ebola," she said.

Most importantly, health officials want residents to know the facts.

The only way Ebola is spread is through direct contact with body fluids of someone infected. According to Ens, a person has to be exposed to fluid either through the eyes, nose, mouth, or through a cut. A person isn't infectious until they start showing symptoms, which usually starts with a fever.

"Bottom line, we want to let the public know that they are at a very, very low risk," Ens said. "But we are planning just in case there is a traveler that does come to Douglas County and starts having symptoms," Ens said.

The Health Department has been working with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical because they would possibly transport a sick person in an ambulance and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of course because they would need to isolate the person.

Ens said the community's preparedness regarding Ebola is in better shape now than it was two weeks ago and health officials will continue to have meetings because things change pretty quickly with the disease.

"We definitely are making plans and I feel like I'm confident that we will handle it quite well," she said.
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