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NC Health Agencies Mobilize Against Ebola

String-like Ebola virus particles are shedding from an infected cell in this electron micrograph.
NIH/NIAID via Flickr/Creative Commons

State government leaders say North Carolina is well on the way to being prepared if an Ebola case is diagnosed within our borders.  A state epidemiologist says steps to isolate a contagious and potentially deadly case can be put in place without an emergency order from the governor.   Those actions can include quarantines of people and buildings.  

State DHHS secretary Aldona Wos says the appearance of the disease in this country is prompting many states to respond.

"In light of the two recent cases in Texas, and almost daily reports about Ebola scares in the United States -- including one last Thursday in the western part of our state -- the governor and I thought it would be helpful for us to share information about the preparation that is underway," Vos said.

Wos did not go into specifics about the scare in western North Carolina.

Dr. Megan Davies is the state epidemiologist with the Division of Public Health at DHHS.  She has been one of the leaders in prepping the state for infectious disease readiness in the past. 

Davies says protocols to stop an outbreak are already in place in the state

"To allow for restriction of movement and activities for up to 30 days, and to allow for quarantines of buildings as well as people," Davies says.  "We've also increases access to health records to investigate significant public health threats.  In North Carolina, public health authority can be used without a declaration of emergency."

The state has activated a new public information line for questions about Ebola.  That number is 1-800-222-1222.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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