Arkansas reassures counties of Ebola preparedness

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) held a conference call with county coordinators recently to address growing public concern about Ebola.

Numerous sources said the chances of someone contracting the virus are greatest for those involved in treating victims from the outbreak in Africa. ADEM Director David Maxwell said the systems in place would be sufficient if a state resident came down with the disease. He said open communication lines were important between county and state officials and medical personnel to control any outbreak.

Maxwell also said that if a health care worker were in contact with an infected individual, the appropriate preventative equipment would be available.

ADEM Preparedness Division Director Sheila Annable said, "The chances of Ebola spreading within the community — outside of the health care community, based on the information I have received — are very small, but not zero. So we need to be prepared -- just the same as we would for (any) biological (emergency)."

The concerns come after two nurses in Dallas contracted the disease from a Liberian man in early October.

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Arkansas Department of Emergency Management

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