Health and Medical Preparedness

Alabama Serious Infectious Disease Network Webcast

With the ever evolving world of infectious diseases, being prepared to identify and respond to potentially highly infectious patients is critical. Through the Serious Infectious Disease Network (SIDN) Alabama’s tiered response will be a coordinated effort. A tiered response requires that each healthcare provider understands their role and responsibility. This program will provide an overview of Alabama’s SIDN, to include descriptions of front line and assessment hospitals, emergency medical services and notification processes.


Important Ebola Information: EMS specific guidelines regarding care and transport of suspected patients.

Association of State and Territory Health Officials Information Update: Public Health Response to Ebola Outbreak

CDC reported on the ASTHO All State and Territorial Health Officials call on August 8 that there have been 1700 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus and 900 deaths in West Africa. Those are conservative numbers and expectations are that the situation may get worse before it gets better in West Africa. The primary CDC strategy at this point is to contain the spread of the disease in West Africa. CDC has deployed 33 people, have 19 deployments pending and are ramping up for additional deployments. CDC has elevated the status of its Emergency Operations Center to Level 1 which enables them to have more flexibility with resources and makes all CDC staff available as needed in the response. The key messages Dr. Frieden conveyed during the call were:

  • This outbreak is unprecedented in Africa- may surpass all other Ebola outbreaks combined; will be a long hard fight, but we have the right tools- "traditional public health"
  • Ebola doesn't spread through casual contact and is only contagious from individuals who are sick
  • 1st line of defense: To protect Americans, we must stop this at the source in Africa; seeing some progress - Guinea is doing better; deeply concerned about Lagos; out of control in Liberia
  • 2nd line of defense is exit screening: Improving airport screening procedures
  • 3rd line of defense: Educating physicians to think Ebola if the patient has been in West Africa and the patient has a fever and symptoms consistent with Ebola
  • Control is straightforward: meticulous attention and adherence to standard infection control procedures (gown, gloves, eye protection and mask)

On August 8, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be an international public health emergency. CDC's staff is working in partnership with affected countries on exit border screening procedures to control the spread of the outbreak.For more information and latest updates, please see Ebola Virus Disease on ADPH and the CDC's Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever website.

Ebola Guidance for EMS Systems

EMS providers in Alabama should be familiar with the Infectious Diseases section 19.01 in the Provider Services Operational Guidelines where more specific instructions can be found for the care of patients suspected of having the Ebola virus.

CDC Ebola Response Update

CDC has released key messages and a response update on the ebola situation.

Ebola Fast Facts Flyer

The ADPH Epidemiology Division has developed a fast facts flyer for those who might have to deal with an ebola situation.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Ebola Outbreak information

The Children and Disasters section of the AAP website also has resources available.

Influenza A (H7N9) Updates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated information related to human infections with influenza A (H7N9) in China.

  • The following guidance documents for health professionals are also available on the CDC website:
    -- Interim Guidance on Case Definitions to be Used for Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Case Investigations in the United States. The guidance is available online.
    -- Interim Guidance for Specimen Collection, Processing, and Testing for Patients Who May Be Infected with Avian Influenza A (H7N9) Virus. The guidance is available online.
    -- Interim Risk Assessment and Biosafety Level Recommendations for Working with Influenza A (H7N9) Viruses. The guidance is available online.

Page last updated: December 4, 2019