- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire’s deputy epidemiologist is heading to Liberia to train medical workers on how to protect against the Ebola virus.

Besides her state position, Dr. Elizabeth Talbot is an infectious-disease doctor at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and an associate professor of medicine at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. After working to ensure that the state is prepared to handle any patients, she will travel to Liberia in the next week or so with the non-governmental International Medical Corps and will spend four weeks as a training director.

“What’s clear from the projections is that as long as the epidemic rages on in West Africa, this is a global catastrophe that will affect all of us for years to come, so given the state of readiness New Hampshire has achieved, I feel the timing is appropriate to try to apply my skill set in the epidemic zone,” Talbot said Friday.

Talbot said she will be closely monitored for symptoms for 21 days after she returns. She said the level of activity she will be allowed will depend on her exposure to the virus.

“I’m a mother of three children and a wife, and I have professional responsibilities that I take very seriously, so I have been careful to choose a position where I will have no planned exposure to Ebola patients,” she said. “My job will be training others for that role. I plan on a very safe deployment, but I certainly don’t want to contribute to any concern in the population or my community here, so I will stringently apply our protocols to myself upon return.”

A New York City doctor who returned to the U.S. a week ago after treating Ebola victims in Guinea was diagnosed Thursday with the lethal disease, which has killed thousands of people in Africa, mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Many New Yorkers and others were dismayed to learn that he rode the subway, took a cab and went bowling in the days before he was hospitalized.

Health officials said Dr. Craig Spencer followed U.S. and international protocols in checking his temperature every day and watching for symptoms and he put no one at risk. But others said he should have been quarantined - voluntarily or by the government - during Ebola’s 21-day incubation period.

Gov. Maggie Hassan said while the threat of an outbreak is low, the state continues to coordinate with local governments and health care providers to ensure they are prepared to protect the health and safety of the state’s residents.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. Someone can’t be infected just by being near someone who is sick with Ebola. Someone isn’t contagious unless he is sick.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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