The head of the state’s health department says there’s a chance Rhode Island could have one or two imported cases of the Ebola virus. That’s because of travel within Rhode Island’s sizeable Liberian community, the largest population per capita in the U.S.
Dr. Michael Fine said hospitals have teams and quarantined areas standing by should a case appear in Rhode Island. He doesn’t think that once here Ebola will spread.
Rhode Island’s department of health director doctor Michael Fine plans to brief state lawmakers Wednesday on the state of the state’s health.
Fine will update lawmakers on the state’s progress on certain health indicators. Smoking rates are down to about 17 percent. New cases of HIV are falling. But since his last briefing for the General Assembly, Fine said, the needle hasn’t moved in the right direction on another major health challenge – drug addiction and overdose.
“Drug overdose death is what’s keeping us up at night. That’s our single biggest slippage," said Fine.
An Exeter man has been treated for the first human case of West Nile in Rhode Island this year.
The Rhode Island Department of Health said the 33-year-old Exeter man first started developing symptoms on September 11. Two days later he was at South County Hospital, diagnosed with viral meningitis caused by West Nile Virus. He was released a few days later and is recovering at home.