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Ebola and Rural Communities

Odds of Contracting Ebola Are Very Low – Especially in Rural Communities

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Flu shots are currently available through both the 
Rural Health Clinic of Ashland Health Center and the Clark County Health Department.

Ashland Health Center Clinic: 620-635-2241
Clark County Health Department: 620-635-2624

(Ashland, KS – October 28, 2014) – Though the entire country – if not much of the world – has been inundated with Ebola information, very little focus is on rural communities.  

Internationally, the majority of communications comes from the World Health Organization, national coverage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while state information is distributed from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The reality is – regardless of where you live – the odds of contracting Ebola are very low. Thankfully, it is the smaller population within southwest Kan. That makes our risk to Ebola even lower.

And because Ebola is spread only by direct contact with bodily fluids (blood, vomit, urine, sweat) of someone who is not only infected but actually showing symptoms, the greater risk within our communities would be to have a negative outcome from a common airborne illness such as the flu. 

As flu season approaches, Patty Young, RN, BSN, Chief Nursing Officer for Ashland Health Center says getting a flu shot should actually be of greater priority than worrying about contracting Ebola.

Closely mirroring that of the flu virus, symptoms of Ebola may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure – to someone already infected with and displaying symptoms of Ebola. Signs and symptoms typically include:

• Fever (greater than 101.5°F)
• Severe headache
• Muscle pain
• Vomiting 
• Diarrhea
• Stomach pain
• Unexplained bleeding or bruising

As with any public health threat, it’s important to have a collaborative effort of the local health services. The Ebola threat is no exception. Ashland Health Center, Emergency Medical Services and Clark County Health Department are working together to monitor for updated information, following KDHE and CDC recommendations for emergency preparedness throughout, and developing specific plans for identifying, isolating and testing any potential Ebola patient to limit risk of exposure to others.

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Ashland Health Center625 Kentucky St.Ashland, KS  67831

p. 620.635.2241f. 620.635.2229

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