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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

two Orange County residents monitored for virus

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Albert View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 29 2014 at 9:25am
About 15 minutes from me.

UCI attempts to calm Ebola fears, even as two Orange County residents monitored for virus

The message from experts is simple: Don’t panic. The message from the O.C. health agency is also simple: We’re watching.


event-disease-infectious-
Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention and infectious disease at UC Irvine School of Medicine, speaks at the roundtable event “Ebola: What You Should Know.” The event attracted over 700 attendees to UC Irvine on Monday night. Students, professors, healthcare workers and the general public got a clearer picture of issues surrounding t

At UC Irvine, a panel of experts addressed a crowd of more than 700, discussing the science, politics, economics and, above all, the fear surrounding the Ebola virus.

That was Monday night. The morning after, Orange County health officials said they are monitoring the health of two county residents who traveled recently to West Africa. The news marks the first time health workers in Orange County have looked for Ebola.

Neither traveler will be subjected to isolation or quarantine, but they will be monitored for 21 days and will report their temperature twice daily, said Deanne Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Agency. Health officials also will conduct home visits, Thompson said.

That kind of news, and growing national concern over Ebola, is what prompted UCI to host Monday’s panel discussion, “Ebola: What You Should Know,” said Andrew Noymer, associate professor of UCI’s Public Health Program.

The talk, held in UCI’s biggest meeting room, touched on public policy, science and emotion.

THE PANIC

What makes Ebola panic-worthy?

Ebola is deadly, Noymer said, and people associate deadliness with ease of transmission.

Still, other diseases, including flu and West Nile, can be deadly too, and both are far more common than Ebola. But they don’t typically generate panic.

Part of the difference, Noymer said, is that Ebola is an exotic disease (it’s named after the Ebola River, a tributary of the Congo) and people have little experience with it.

“It’s the fear of the unknown. The only way to curb this panic and hysteria is getting the right information out there and building up awareness.”

Noymer and others on the panel pointed out a simple fact: Ebola is infectious, but not highly contagious.

Spreading such information is also the only way to avoid Ebola stigma, said Brandon Brown, assistant professor at UCI and director of the Global Health Initiative.

“There is going to be fear and stigma with anything new. We had it with HIV and the gay community,” Brown said. “Now, it’s doctors and nurses who are going to West Africa to help Ebola patients.

“These people should be getting a hero’s welcome, but they’re not.”

Last week, 33-year-old Craig Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola after returning to New York City on Oct. 17 from Guinea, where he spent time working with Ebola patients. Kaci Hickox, a nurse who spent a month in Sierra Leone, was quarantined briefly in New Jersey before being allowed to go home to Maine.

“If we continue to panic and take these measures, doctors and nurses who are much needed in West Africa won’t want to go,” said Carolyn Boyd, an Irvine resident who attended the UCI event. “Making people more fearful is not the solution.”

Kathryn Frost, an Irvine resident, said she was reassured after listening to the experts Monday.

“I’m comforted to know that the disease is not as contagious as I thought it was.”

PREPAREDNESS IN ORANGE COUNTY

All five University of California medical centers, including UC Irvine, are prepared to treat Ebola patients, the California Department of Public Health has announced. Last week, UCI trained 50 staff members for Ebola response, and more than 100 are expected to be trained by the end of this week, said hospital spokesman John Murray.

Training extends from medical personnel, such as doctors and nurses, to housekeepers, therapists and reception workers – anybody who might come in contact with a patient, Murray said.

Costs, for now, aren’t part of the equation, he said.

“Our goal is to make sure we are fully prepared should we get any Ebola cases or suspected cases.”

But Joy Valdellon, a registered nurse at UCI Medical Center who attended Monday’s event, said she is not comfortable with the level of training and protective equipment being provided to nurses. She believes training should be standardized and extended to all nurses.

“Otherwise, (the hospital) is putting us, our families and our communities, at risk,” she said.

Murray said Valdellon was not being trained because Ebola patients would not come through the outpatient surgery center.

“We have screening procedures in place where we are asking for patients’ travel history,” he said.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7909 or dbharath@ocregister.com
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/ebola-640114-uci-health.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hachiban08 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 3:32pm
RRiverside County was monitoring  two per press enterprise's facebook page. Low risk and no symptoms.
Be prepared! It may be time....^_^v
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 3:47pm
I think everyone is just trying to self quarantine for fun now, lol.  That's great to see people doing that.  If we have a standard practice of incoming visitors to self isolate with medical supervision, and by reporting it, that's a good plan.   You could put me in the quarantine tent no prob.  Know what I would request? Probably a large pizza, cable tv, lap top and phone.  And then to be left alone so i could work and watch Pheasant's favorite show Maury.   Would have that deal done within the first 72 hrs.  Might even fake a temp to stay.  

On another note - it's good practice as W. Africa is now seeing a spike in cases of nearly 1,000 cases per day and a surge in imported cases is imminent.  W. Africa is in quite a bit of trouble.  Maybe all of Africa at that rate.   This is about to get ugly.


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pheasant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pheasant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 4:21pm
Wait, I have frozen pizza, beer, chips.....and the secret stash of delectable goodies, Does that mean I can get 3 weeks off???

Maury Povich mehh, ill watch Tora Tora Tora, bridge over the river Kwi, Patton, and star wars.
The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself......FDR
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Albert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 4:34pm
Nice line up. Some of my all time favorites. Are you kidding? I would be pushing for the whole 42 days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Germ Nerdier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 5:39pm
I often go 3 weeks or longer without setting foot out my front door. Just no reason to go out.

Give me Internet, fully stocked fridge and freezer, phone, and a reno project.
Hey if it's quarantine, that means I don't have kids and pets to take care of! Better throw in some canvases and sculpting clay :)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Germ Nerdier Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 5:43pm
1000 cases per day? Wasn't the dire scenario10,000 per period of 3 weeks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schrödinger's Cat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 29 2014 at 6:07pm
Germ Nerdier -  yes, it was 10,000 per day - maybe the 10K/day was a typo and they just decided to run with it - seems their forecasting efforts need some work.       I'm flying to Atlanta in a few weeks, I wonder if I can get out of work for 21 days by "self quarantining" when I get home - after all, they've had multiple cases of Ebola there, the excuse might just fly.  (sarcasm)
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