Ebola Information

October 20, 2014

Recently, the City of Kilgore received an inquiry regarding how the City would handle a suspected Ebola case in Kilgore.

Threat Level

Currently, the threat to Kilgore is very remote.  City Emergency Management has made preparations for the unlikely event that a case(s) of Ebola were to present.

Description of the nature of Ebola’s communicability

Ebola is a bloodborne pathogen (HIV, Hep C, Hep B are other examples of bloodborne pathogens) which means, the only way to contract the disease is through direct body fluid contact of a patient that is Febrile with Ebola. While there is a wealth of information regarding Ebola in the media, it is the policy of the City of Kilgore to utilize the knowledge and advice provided through the formal resources available to all jurisdictions.  In particular, the Centers for Disease Control provide information regarding most diseases and illnesses at all levels of knowledge.  Citizens, health care providers and government leadership can receive recommendations and resources through the CDC.  The State of Texas’ State Department of Health Services has developed a sophisticated plan for addressing threats. Kilgore participates at the local level in those plans.

According to healthcare officials many of the people who were in direct contact with the original patient, including First Responders, have all been cleared and have not contracted the disease.  Nigeria was recently deemed to be Ebola free, and improvements are being made in Liberia where the most cases of confirmed Ebola have come from.   According to the investigation, it is believed that the two nurses who contracted the disease violated Body Substance Isolation protocols in the early stages of patient care.  Healthcare officials in Liberia did not have appropriate PPE in the early stages of the disease.  According to the CDC, it is not possible to become exposed to Ebola by simply being in the same room as the patient.  The Kilgore Fire Department has the necessary equipment on hand should a suspected case of Ebola present.  Healthcare officials emphasized the importance of washing hands and avoiding direct contact with body fluids. 

Kilgore’s Plan for Addressing the Threat

The following are some of the initial actions City responders and officials would take in conjunction with local, state, and Federal resources and organizations.  Not necessarily in order numerically:

·         Identify possible signs of infection

·         Isolate patient and body fluids to prevent further exposures

·         Contact Gregg County to notify County officials of suspected case.

·         Notify and work with County Health officials on tracking individuals until they have been cleared of exposure

·         Notify hospitals of possible Infectious Disease

·         Fill out exposure forms on any Responders and Citizens that might be exposed

What Citizens Should Know

The best source of information is the CDC's (Center for Disease Control)website:  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.  This site offers the latest official news and frequently asked questions to address common concerns.  

If an individual is concerned that they may have been exposed to Ebola, they should:

·         Limit their contact with others

·         Call 911 or City Emergency Management at 214-491-7330

For further information contact: 

Michael Simmons
Assistant Fire Chief/ Emergency Management Coordinator

City of Kilgore