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      Health department prepares Ebola plan

      In response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, local health organizations have been collaborating on a plan in case the disease makes its way to the Upper Peninsula.

      There have been over 1,800 cases and 1,000 deaths in the largest Ebola outbreak in history in West Africa. All though U.P. doctors say the risk in the U.S. is small, they still want to be prepared.

      Marquette County Health Department Medical Director Terry Frankovich, M.D., M.P.H. has stated that with many organizations removing staff from affected countries, Marquette County needs to be prepared for any travelers who were potentially exposed to the virus.

      "I think it's also a chance to reassure the public that the health entities in the community are always being vigilant for this type of threat and making sure that preparations are in place to deal with it should it come to us locally," says Frankovich. "Local hospitals such as DLP-Marquette General Hospital have established plans in place to quickly isolate and treat anyone who has traveled back from an affected nation, been exposed to the virus, and is showing symptoms of Ebola. Here in the U.S., it is much easier to isolate and manage patients than in the affected West Africa nations."

      MCHD works closely with area medical providers, the state health department, and the federal Centers for Disease Control to monitor concerns in the region. For more information on Ebola, click here.