Providence Comments on Ebola Outbreak

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT

The Ebola virus has been making headlines worldwide, and recently state officials have joined the discussion to make sure Alaskans know what measures are being done to prevent a spread of deadly virus in the last frontier. The discussion turned local during the Borough Assembly’s regular meeting Thursday night when Assemblywoman Carol Austerman read a statement from Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center regarding Ebola. Austerman serves on Providence’s community advisory board.
In the statement, Providence said it’s unlikely there will be an Ebola epidemic here in the United States, but it is still taking the matter very seriously and making the safety of patients and caregivers its first priority.
“With the heightened need for screening for the Ebola virus and other seasonal infections diseases, PKIMC has launched an immediate response that ensures we are vigilant in our identification of patients at risk, ready to serve those who need our care, and support our caregivers ability to provide care safely and with confidence.”
Austerman went on to read that PKIMC is more concerned about other health risks Alaskans face annually.
“We would also like to remind the community that although Ebola may threaten the lives of the people of Kodiak, influenza DOES threaten the lives of the people of Kodiak every year, so please make sure you and your families receive your flue shots.”
She added that one of the discussion points during the advisory board’s meeting last week was the fact that the number of people who die from the flu each year is much higher than how many have died so far from Ebola. Austerman said it was something to think about as media coverage on the outbreak continues.

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