Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Recommendations for Healthcare Workers
Detect: ask all patients with non-specific complaints about recent travel or exposure. A travel history should be taken as early as possible in your encounter with all patients. Although the signs and symptoms of Ebola are nonspecific (e.g., fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), Ebola can be virtually eliminated from your differential by ruling out travel to the affected area or exposure history.
Protect: use good infection control practices. Consistent and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), frequent hand washing, and proper decontamination of surfaces and equipment are key to reducing or eliminating the transmission of Ebola and other communicable diseases (e.g., HIV, influenza, hepatitis, and Enterovirus-D68).
Respond: have a plan. All healthcare workers and first responders should know what to do when encountering a suspected Ebola patient. It is critical to know who to notify and to make that notification immediately. Remember, Ebola is a nationally notifiable disease and must be reported to local, state, and federal public health authorities. In the New River Health District, call 540-585-3339 after-hours.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced by many types of native bedrock and soils throughout much of the Commonwealth. Radon gas can penetrate through any type of foundation and accumulate in the livable space of a home. It is thought to be the second leading cause of lung cancer – and the leading cause for people who have never smoked. The USEPA estimates that radon may contribute to 21,000 new cases of lung cancer in the United States every year, of which over 600 cases are estimated to be in Virginia. Learn more below:
New River Health District urges residents with wells and septic systems to take extra precautions following severe weather and heavy rains. Floodwaters and runoff may contain sewage and agricultural or industrial waste, and can contaminate drinking water and damage septic systems.
Click here for a map of the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) biological sampling sites in the New River Valley and surrounding area. The surface waters in red indicate bacteria impairment and may represent an increased risk of waterborne illness to anyone enjoying recreational water activities.
VDH and the New River Health District offer the following safety tips for recreational water activities include:
Avoid getting water in your mouth. Never swallow water from an untreated water source.
Don’t swim if you have an open wound. Bacteria, viruses and other organisms can infect open wounds and cause more serious illness.
Remember to shower with soap and water after swimming.
Do not swim when you are ill.
Avoid swimming if dead fish are present. To report a fish kill, contact the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at (804) 698-4000.