Charlotte Agencies Coordinate Return of Missionaries from Liberi - myfoxcarolinas.com

Charlotte Agencies Coordinate Return of Missionaries from Liberia

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Charlotte, NC -

Three Charlotte agencies are working in close collaboration upon the return of missionaries who were exposed to Ebola while working in Liberia.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Mecklenburg County Health Department and SIM USA are the three working agencies.

A press conference was held on Sunday morning at the Mecklenberg County Health Department to discuss the precautionary measures that are being taken in order to prepare for the return.

North Carolina Public Health officials say they are requiring a period of quarantine for the missionaries and other people who were exposed to Ebola and plan on returning to North Carolina within 21 days since their last exposure.

According to Dr. Stephen Keener, Mecklenburg County Medical Director, “Quarantine is a public health measure to protect the public that requires healthy people who were exposed to a disease to be prevented from contact with others until it is certain that they are not infected.”

Officials say the 21-day period is based on the longest duration of incubation, which is the delay between exposure and onset of illness for Ebola infection.

“Mecklenburg County, NC DHHS' Division of Public Health and SIM USA are working hand-in-hand to assure quarantine is carried-out with respect and care for these dedicated people,” said Keener. “Public health officials express their gratitude to the courageous missionaries who are participating in the medical and humanitarian response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This measure is being taken out of an abundance of caution, and it is important to remember that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in North Carolina.”

Officials want to remind the public that Ebola is not spread through the air, water or food. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids (blood, urine, feces, saliva and other secretions) of an infected person, or with objects like needles that have been contaminated with the virus.

 

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