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NACCHO Supports Emergency Funding to Address Ebola in U.S. and Abroad


Contact: Laura Hanen
NACCHO Chief of Government and Public Affairs

NACCHO Supports Emergency Funding to Address Ebola in U.S. and Abroad

WASHINGTON, DC (November 12, 2014) —

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) strongly supports the President's emergency funding request to combat the Ebola virus in West Africa and strengthen the domestic response. Specifically, resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) are needed to improve Ebola readiness within state and local public health departments, because these agencies protect the public, calm anxiety, and identify potentially symptomatic Ebola patients.

NACCHO is the voice of our nation's 2,800 local health departments, on the front lines of public health. You may not always see the work they do, but communities are safer and healthier because of it.

This past summer, local health departments began to prepare for potential cases of Ebola in their communities. They use time-tested capability to respond to infectious disease and protect the public. Under guidance from CDC and ASPR, they monitor travelers from nations that have had widespread Ebola virus transmissions. And they determine when to isolate and potentially quarantine individuals who are at risk of becoming contagious, which stops transmission of the disease. Local health departments also investigate and interview people who may have come in contact with a contagious Ebola patient to identify others who may have been exposed (i.e. contact tracing). Exposed individuals must also be interviewed, informed of their risk, and monitored appropriately according to national guidance. If a symptomatic person has been to a crowded public setting, then the local health department may issue health alerts or other notices to help identify potentially exposed individuals.

Local health departments also work with hospital officials, emergency management, emergency medical services and law enforcement to encourage adherence to rigorous infection control practices, including procedures for putting on and taking off personal protective equipment.

NACCHO appreciates the attention of the President and Administration on the need to protect public health, both domestically and abroad, and to shore up the U.S. public health system. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa requires swift action and sufficient resources. NACCHO urges Congress to approve emergency funding expeditiously.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.