Allamakee County ready for infectious disease outbreak, even Ebola

Ebola can be scary and it is understandable that Allamakee County residents may be concerned a case of Ebola could occur here as it has in other states. However, there is a world of difference between the U.S. and the parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States, Iowa and Allamakee County have a strong health care system and public health professionals who handle very contagious illnesses every day, even diseases like Ebola, and are prepared to respond should it become necessary.
“Allamakee County residents can be confident in our hospital system, which has facilities and proper protective equipment and protocols in place for individuals who contract very contagious diseases,” said Lisa Moose, Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care, Allamakee County Public Health Director. “Our hospital and staff are well trained and ready for any public health threat, should the need arise.”
It’s important to remember that Ebola is not a virus spread through the air, and is only contagious if the infected person is having active symptoms. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated.
Allamakee County Public Health has been and will continue to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure that the County’s health system ready to respond should the need arise. IDPH has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and local public health agencies in the following ways:
• Enhancing surveillance and laboratory testing capacity in states to detect cases.
• Developing guidance and tools for health departments to conduct public health investigations.
• Providing recommendations for healthcare infection control and other measures to prevent disease spread.
• Disseminating up-to-date information to the general public, international travelers and public health partners.
For the latest information on Ebola, visit  For more information locally, call Veterans Memorial Hospital Community and Home Care at 563-568-5660.