Connecticut Health Officials Discuss Ebola Preparedness, GOP Calls for Public Forum

More than 120 health care providers gathered in a meeting Tuesday about Ebola and Enterovirus D68 preparedness in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Hospital Association, the Yale-New Haven Health System Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response and the Milford Health Department hosted the briefing in the hopes of ensuring a "coordinated response" to Ebola statewide. The hospital association and hospitals in the state started conducting "regular emergency preparedness coordination calls last week to share tools and resources, as well as best practices and lessons learned," the association said in a news release.

Dr. Louise Marie Dembry led a presentation on Ebola signs and symptoms, the infection timeline, the protocol for Ebola screening, diagnostic testing, detecting patients with the virus and protecting health care providers who come in contact with Ebola patients, according to a news release from the hospital association. Embry is the associate director of Yale-New Haven Hospital Epidemiology, professor of medicine for infectious diseases and epidemiology at Yale University and co-medical director of the Yale-New Haven Health System center.

She also gave an overview on ways to prevent Enterovirus 68 and to protect health care workers treating patients with the virus, the news release said.

The hospital association is working to coordinate communication with hospitals and share information on Ebola "detection, treatment, and response" to help hospitals prepare for response in the event that there are any Ebola cases in Connecticut in the future.

Connecticut Republicans in the state House of Representatives released a statement Wednesday calling for the legislative Public Health Committee and the state Department of Health to host a public forum on Ebola and to "identify protocols and procedures to respond to the deadly Ebola virus."

“I believe we need to bring together experts to inform the public as best we can, and identify procedures in the event that there are cases that show up in our state,’’ House Republican Leader Larry Cafero said.

State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, of Glastonbury, a member on the public health committee, asked committee chairs in a letter to collaborate with the health department on organizing a public forum to answer the questions of concerned citizens. .

“It is imperative that they work together to address the concerns on how best to protect and defend our health care professionals from contracting the Ebola virus while simply doing their job,’’ he wrote.

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