Governor O’Malley Updates Public on Ebola Preps
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley led a team of hospital and other health officials on Oct. 17 to update the public on the Maryland’s efforts to protect its communities against infectious diseases, including the Ebola virus.
To date, there have been no cases of Ebola diagnosed in Maryland.
“We are not taking this situation lightly,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are working together across agencies, with our federal and local government and community partners, and with Maryland hospital officials to prepare aggressively so that we can keep Marylanders safe.”
At the briefing, Maryland officials reviewed preparations, guidance, and training for the emergency management system, medical offices, emergency departments, and inpatient facilities. Hospital officials from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland provided updates on efforts underway throughout their institutions.
“We must support the safety of front line healthcare workers as we prepare for a possible new case of Ebola virus infection,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).
In September, Secretary Sharfstein issued an order requiring communication and coordination between healthcare providers and the health departments on all suspected cases of Ebola. DHMH has one of 13 labs authorized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test for Ebola. Maryland also receives detailed data from Emergency Departments and absenteeism data from its schools to continually monitor trends in health.
The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is coordinating the State’s overall Ebola response. MEMA has established a virtual joint information center so information and guidance can be shared across state agencies including Transportation, Corrections, and State Police. Governor O’Malley brought various agencies together to conduct a tabletop exercise in August, and MEMA is convening regular meetings to review the latest information and plan for a wide range of possible scenarios. Earlier this week, Governor O’Malley, DHMH officials, the Maryland Secretary of State, and representatives from various congressional offices met with leaders of the African diaspora community to discuss solutions, including efficient information-sharing and efforts to combat the disease in Africa.
DHMH has launched a website devoted to Ebola at http://dhmh.maryland.gov/ebola and DHMH Secretary Sharfstein has written all state employees with basic information about the virus.
The county’s health officer updated the Montgomery County Council Tuesday on the topics of Ebola, tuberculosis and school vaccinations. Dr. Ulder Tillman gives a public health briefing to the county council about twice a year. Of the 11,001 Montgomery County Public Schools’ sixth graders entering seventh grade in August, 7,098 still do not have the required Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular […]
UPDATED April 9, 5:44 p.m. The American healthcare worker admitted to the NIH Clinical Center on March 13 with the Ebola virus was discharged today in good condition after having been successfully treated at the NIH Clinical Center Special Clinical Studies Unit. According to NIH officials, the individual is no longer contagious to the community. No […]
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In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Zalgen Labs’ co-founder Dr. Luis Branco said as the newly approved rapid diagnostic test for Ebola hits the market he will need to ramp up production at his startup company. Related:
In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Zalgen Labs’ co-founder Dr. Luis Branco said the approval of a rapid diagnostic test for Ebola is a gamechanger. Related:
In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Dr. Luis Branco said he plans to return to Eastern Sierra Leone sometime this year to continue work on the recently approved rapid diagnostic test for the Ebola virus. Despite progress, he said there are always more questions to answer. Related:
In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Zalgen Labs’ co-founder Dr. Luis Branco talks about his work on the rapid diagnostic test for Ebola late last year in Africa and what happened when he returned to the United States. The World Health Organization approved a rapid diagnostic test for Ebola last week. Related:
It’s called a gamechanger: a rapid diagnostic test for Ebola has recently been approved and a startup Germantown company, Zalgen Labs, played a part in the development of that test. MyMCMedia’s Sonya Burke reports. You can find more information about this development and the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium that made it happen on its website. […]
Susan Prince, development specialist for the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, talks about Zalgen Labs and the impact that company’s success has on the life sciences industry here.