Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has announced the makeup of his 14-member Ebola Response Team that is charged with making sure the state is prepared in the event of an outbreak in Georgia.
At the Georgia capital, Deal introduced State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald who will lead the group which consists of the heads of GEMA, the Georgia National Guard, and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport; the chief operating officer of the city of Atlanta; various health care representatives including Emory; an infectious disease professor at the University of Georgia; and the superintendent of the Fayette County School System.
“They represent a very good cross section of both the medical community as well as others who are going to be interested or perhaps even involved in dealing with a crisis should it ever develop,” says Deal.
He says the team will meet for the first time later this week.
Meantime, Fitzgerald says the state’s hospitals are currently getting prepared in the event a patient shows up presenting symptoms.
Deal also announced that six major medical centers around the state of Georgia, including Emory which is already treating Texas nurse Amber Vinson, will be designated to treat Ebola patients.
“We think that that is the safest way to proceed and that is route we have chosen here in Georgia,” she says.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport began screening travelers last Thursday, 20 so far have come from the affected countries. None, however, had a history of being exposed to the virus, Fitzgerald said. They were all given thermometers and told to check their temperatures daily.
“Every one of those travelers will be checked on twice a day (via phone) for 21 days until the time of incubation is over,” says Fitzgerald.