St. Charles Parish responds to Ebola scare

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From staff reports

St. Charles Parish emergency operations staff members are working with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to further prepare for the possibility of an infectious disease outbreak in light of the recent incidences of Ebola viruses in Dallas.

An Ebola screening questionnaire has been developed by DHH to be used by 911 operators, other emergency-related call takers and first responders.

The goal is to elicit specific information from those who may be showing symptoms associated with Ebola.

This information includes whether the person had recently lived in or traveled to any of the affected countries in Africa or whether they have had contact with any individuals expected to or known to have Ebola.

If the initiating conditions are met, strict protocols to deal with the patient will be followed by police, fire and emergency medical staff.

This includes securing the patient’s place of residence, interviewing family members and decontaminating themselves, their vehicles and the residence.

All Centers for Disease Control guidelines are to be followed with regard to personal protective equipment, to include a gown, mask or respirator, goggles or face shield and gloves.

In addition, the state has already distributed and exercised its Ebola plan, and St. Charles Parish will be holding an Ebola awareness meeting to discuss plans during the week of Oct. 27. First responders will also be receiving more detailed training materials via the Emergency Operations Center.

The U.S. Coast Guard has the lead with regard to establishing protocols for the screening of foreign vessels at Louisiana ports.

For more information on Ebola, visit