State agencies take steps to protect Kansans from Ebola

TOPEKA, Kansas – At the direction of Governor Sam Brownback, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is working diligently with public health officials and hospitals across the state to ensure a swift and effective response in the event of a case of Ebola in Kansas.

Kansas has had no confirmed cases of Ebola at this time.

“I am very concerned about the number of Ebola cases that have developed in the U.S. in just a few short weeks,” said Governor Brownback. “I have instructed KDHE to develop a plan for Kansas that includes stronger rules on protective gear and isolation. These rules go beyond what the CDC currently recommends as we work to protect Kansans. I have tasked KDHE and other state agencies to devote whatever resources are necessary to protect Kansans in the event of any possible Ebola case in the state.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the healthcare system in Kansas began preparing for Ebola many weeks prior to its appearance in the U.S.

“We developed the Kansas Ebola Virus Preparedness and Response Plan in August, and began working closely with local health departments and hospitals across the state on how to properly manage a case of Ebola,” said Dr. Robert Moser, Secretary of KDHE and State Health Officer. “We are working with health officials statewide to assess the needs of our healthcare community and provide them with the resources and guidance they need.”

In addition, the Governor has ordered additional actions and resources be made available in the event of an actual case of Ebola in Kansas, including:

  • Directing the state to create a special response team that would respond quickly to any suspected Ebola case in the state
  • Identifying $4 million that could be used in the event of an emergency
  • Calling on the federal government to provide an emergency clean-up team and federal disposal of Ebola-related waste

“The goal of all these actions is to protect Kansans and the integrity of our healthcare system across the state,” said Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “With the flu season upon us, I urge Kansans to get a flu shot and minimize the number of people coming to hospitals with these symptoms.”

KDHE will continue monitoring the situation carefully and working with the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department and Kansas Division of Emergency Management, responsible for assisting state and local government through the coordination of resources as outlined in the Kansas Response Plan, and for leading the state’s overall emergency response planning efforts.

KDHE encourages all Kansans to become informed about Ebola by going to www.kdheks.gov/ebola and www.cdc.gov/ebola. The websites are updated frequently with new information.

Read the Ebola preparedness plan by clicking the document below.

Ebola Preparedness Plan
Read the Ebola preparedness plan by clicking the document.

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