The risk of Ebola coming to Hawaii is very low. Nonetheless, the Hawaii State Department of Health continues to work with partners in healthcare, with state, county, and federal officials, and with others in the community to make sure that all involved are informed and are prepared in the event of a possible case of Ebola. DOH also participates in national conference calls and discussions regarding the Ebola outbreak and responds directly to individual questions from various groups, organizations, and persons.
At this time Ebola has not been seen in Hawaii. DOH is also working closely with government and private partners in the travel industry and healthcare community to make sure that we are able to recognize any potential issues with incoming travellers. DOH is continuing surveillance for flu-like illness at the Honolulu International Airport and any international traveller with severe illness reports to the CDC Quarantine Station.
In any case, local area hospitals are absolutely prepared to safely care for a patient with Ebola. The types of precautions that would need to be taken to protect healthcare workers, hospital staff, patients, and visitors from getting Ebola are all readily available. For further questions or concerns, individuals may call DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division at 808-586-4586.
Zoë L. Shih, APRN-Rx, FNP-BC, RD
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