Health experts: nothing to fear about Ebola plane in JH

By on October 10, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – has reported that the United Airlines Airbus A320 that carried the first U.S. Ebola victim to Dallas on Sept. 20 continued on to Denver the next day and then to Jackson Hole, WY, landing at the Jackson Hole Airport on Sept. 21 at 12:10 p.m.

According to, the director of Centers for Disease Control says there is “zero risk of transmission on any flight which the patient flew because he was not symptomatic until several days after his trip and could not have been contagious on the dates he traveled.”

Airbus A320 - photo credit:

Airbus A320 – photo credit:

According to

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that Ebola poses no significant risk to the United States. Despite the low risk, St. John’s Medical Center, Teton County Public Health Department, and other area agencies have heightened their awareness of the Ebola issue and are prepared to help protect Teton County.

Staff at St. John’s Medical Center and its affiliated physician clinics are trained to follow CDC protocols for infection control, including evaluating patient’s symptoms and travel history, exercising appropriate triage techniques, knowing when and how to use personal protective equipment, and safely transferring patients to isolation rooms when necessary.

According to St. John’s CEO Lou Hochheiser, MD, “Although the likelihood of Ebola reaching Jackson is extremely low, our staff is well trained and prepared to handle patients with infectious diseases, including Ebola. Patients can safely receive initial treatment in our facilities.”

The hospital, Teton County Public Health Department, and other entities are working closely together. Teton County Public Health is prepared to coordinate response efforts with St. John’s and other local agencies if needed. Teton County Health Officer Travis Riddell, MD, stated, “Teton County Public Health is confident in the support we would receive from the Wyoming Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.” Riddell added, “It is important to recognize that our community has a modern healthcare system and public health professionals to help protect our community.”

Ebola is very different from familiar diseases, such as influenza, that spread easily and rapidly. The disease is not contagious through the air, water, or food.

The only way a person can contract Ebola is by touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with, or has died from, Ebola. Bodily fluids include, but are not limited to, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, sweat, breast milk, and semen.

For more information, contact Jodie Pond, Director of Public Health, at (307) 699-7545.


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