Gov. Nikki Haley will meet Monday with legislators, cabinet secretaries, public-health experts and the leader of the S.C. National Guard to discuss South Carolina’s preparations for a possible Ebola outbreak.
Discussions also will include training for handling those suffering from the deadly virus and public notification, the governor’s office said.
No Ebola cases have been reported in South Carolina.
News of the S.C. roundtable came on the same day that President Barack Obama appointing Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, to lead the nation’s Ebola response.
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The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control issued a public health order this week creating a statewide Health Preparedness Network to address Ebola communications among front-line workers.
S.C. state agency heads joining Haley at the roundtable will be: Catherine Templeton, DHEC’s director; Major Gen. Bob Livingston, adjutant general of the National Guard; Tony Keck, director of the Department of Health and Human Services; Mark Keel, chief of the S.C. Law Enforcement Division; Duane Parrish, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; and Kim Stenson, director of the S.C. Emergency Management Division.
Senate Medical Affairs Committee chairman Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, and House Medical Affairs Committee Chairman Leon Howard, D-Richland, also are scheduled to attend the roundtable meeting.
Others invited include: Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC’s state epidemiologist; Dr. Patrick Cawley, chief executive of the Medical University of South Carolina Medical Center; Chuck Beaman, CEO of Palmetto Health; Paul Johnson, president of the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus; Dr. Rick Nolte, director of clinical laboratories at the Medical University of South Carolina; and Dr. Helmut Albrecht, chief of infectious diseases at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
Ebola is transmitted via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids. You can’t contract the virus simply being in the same room with an Ebola patient. But since the symptoms of the disease include vomiting and diarrhea, it’s difficult for medical-care providers to avoid the virus without special protection.
Nearly 70 percent of Ebola patients in Africa have died in this outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.
But many of those didn’t get proper care or didn’t get it fast enough. The survival rate is likely to be higher for cases caught early and given the proper care.
There is no proven medicine for treating Ebola symptoms. The standard treatment is to provide plenty of fluids and keep the patient’s electrolytes in the proper balance, according to the CDC.
Staff writer Joey Holleman and The Associated Press contributed