Mississippi health officials say they're ready to respond if a case of Ebola were to occur in the state.
Governor Phil Bryant met with officials from several agencies yesterday, to ascertain whether the state could handle a case of the deadly disease. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bryant says he believes it's unlikely the virus will make it to Mississippi.
"We feel that's not a possibility, but I think it would be prudent of us to make sure that we know where we're at, how we might react in the rarest of event that an Ebola virus might be indicated within the state." says Bryant.
While there has been no reported case of anyone contracting Ebola within the U-S, a man from West Africa died from the disease yesterday, after traveling to Dallas, Texas. State Health Officer Mary Currier says if someone with the virus were to enter Mississippi, there are protocols in place to ensure that it won't spread.
"Something that we try to do is remain prepared to identify any case if it were something that were to come here, and to make sure that that case is isolated and then to do contact follow-up and assure that we found any of the people were in contact with that case." said Currier. "So we are prepared as much as you can be prepared for something like this."
Currier also says it's important for Mississippians to remember that the only way a person can contract Ebola is through close personal contact with infected bodily fluids. That's why she's urging residents to remain calm.
"It's not airborne.” Currier says. “It's not something that you can get by walking through an airport or by being in a car really, or being in an airplane with someone. It takes close contact with body fluids. That's an important thing to remember, and we have been preparing for things like this. We always have emergencies. We're prepared for hurricanes. We're prepared for disease, too.”
Currier says every hospital in the state has the ability to isolate anyone showing signs of an infectious disease like Ebola.