Dear Delaware Parents:
There has been lots of media attention on Ebola. Please let me reassure you that there is no case of Ebola in Delaware. The only confirmed case by a US hospital is an adult male in Dallas, Texas who was infected in Liberia. Ebola is a very difficult disease to get and may only be transmitted if a person comes in direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone suffering from the symptoms of the Ebola disease.
A Kent County child who recently came from West Africa was evaluated for a mild illness, and Ebola was ruled out almost immediately as the child had not come in contact with any Ebola victims and it was the last day of the 21-day incubation period. The child is doing well and is expected to be released from the hospital very soon.
Many other viruses are common this time of year and the Division of Public Health reminds people to:
- Wash hands with soap and water frequently for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of the tissue immediately. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inner elbow. Droplets from a sneeze can travel up to six feet.
- Stay home from work or school when sick and do not return until 24 hours after a fever is gone. If fever persists after 24 hours or gets worse, call your medical provider.
- Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Get your annual influenza vaccine to protect yourself from influenza, which is the most common virus-causing severe respiratory illness.
As always, contact your medical provider if you have any concerns, and thank you for all you do for the good health of Delaware’s children.
Dr. Karyl Rattay