Bera discusses Ebola preparedness with Sacramento County Public Health Officer
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. met yesterday with Sacramento County Public Health Officer, Dr. Olivia Kasirye to discuss Sacramento County’s emergency response and preparedness for Ebola and the upcoming flu season.
Bera asked about the County's plan and specifically about how lessons from the Ebola issues in Dallas are being incorporated into training and supplies here in Sacramento County.
Kasirye discussed steps for the local emergency response to Ebola that are already in use for other diseases and described new trainings with safety equipment, the formation of rapid response teams, and safety measure reviews that are taking place at local hospitals to ensure Sacramento County is ready to treat and stop the transmission of Ebola. Local hospitals are also running practice scenarios to prepare. The most important step, she said, is to ensure facilities can properly isolate a suspected Ebola patient and for health care workers to take precautionary measures by wearing protective equipment.
“As a doctor and public health expert, I know the risk of Ebola spreading in our community is very low, but we must do everything we can to make sure we're prepared to handle this disease if it comes to our region," said Bera. "I'm glad that our local public health department and health care systems are preparing to ensure the safety of Sacramento County residents.”
In addition to hospitals preparing, Kasirye confirmed the County has been in communication with first responders as well as the Sacramento International Airport to ensure they also have the knowledge and systems in place to safely respond to an Ebola patient.
Bera has also spoken with Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discuss how they can continue to work together to stop the spread of the disease and keep all families safe, here and around the world.
This week, the CDC issued expanded, strengthened guidelines based on recent experience treating patients in the United States. The guidance emphasizes the importance of health care workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure there is no skin exposure, and rigorous training and supervision of putting equipment on and taking it off.
Bera and Kasirye also discussed the severity of last year’s flu season and current efforts to encourage people to get flu shots this season. Flu shot clinics will be held throughout Sacramento County during October and November. Click here for information on the flu and locations where you can get a flu shot.
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. represents Sacramento County. Born and raised in California, Bera is a physician and the only Indian American currently serving in Congress. He’s fighting to rebuild an economy that works for middle class families and to reduce our country’s debt in a responsible way. One of Bera’s first acts in Congress was to help lead the effort to pass the No Budget No Pay Act, which says if members of Congress don’t pass a budget, they don’t get paid. As a leader of the No Labels' Problem Solvers, he’s working with people from both parties to find bipartisan solutions to our nation’s challenges. He and his wife Janine live in Elk Grove with their daughter Sydra. For more updates on Rep. Bera follow @RepBera on Twitter, like Congressman Bera on Facebook, or visit http://www.bera.house.gov.