Parker prepares for Ebola

“Do you see this teaspoon? Imagine an amount of blood one-fifth the size of this teaspoon. Not very big. That much blood can contain 10 billion Ebola particles in an infected person.”


A classroom at Arizona Western College was packed with first responders, health care workers and others Monday for a preparedness meeting on the emerging and ever-changing Ebola threat.

The La Paz County Health Department Emergency Management hosted the somber meeting to help agencies understand the Ebola virus, the threat it represents upon exposure and the best practices for response.

So far, Ebola is largely a West African virus, taking thousands of lives there. But the exponential growth of the virus means its infection rate has been doubling roughly once every 3 weeks. Continued pace would mean millions of cases in 2015, with a much higher probability of seeing other cases in the United States.

Epidemiologist Melanie Sarino, M.P.H. compared the virus to molasses: “It moves slowly, you can see it coming, you can prepare for it,” she said. “But when it arrives it’s very difficult to get out of.”

Roughly 7 out of every 10 people who contracted the current form of Ebola died from it. “And we know it’s mutating as it goes from host to host,” Sarino said.

That said, there have only been 3 cases in the United States so far.

La Paz County Health Department has the power to quarantine individuals under certain circumstances in the interest of public health, enforceable by local police agencies. It is believed that such powers, when combined with a generally much better health care system than the one in West Africa, gives the United States a much better chance of not having its own devastating Ebola pandemic.

The local first responders and health care workers were given much food for thought and many resources Monday in Parker. But a lot will depend on how well the virus is contained at the national and international levels.


  1. Lonnie Alcaida-North

    THREE people contracted Ebola. ONE died. TWO nurses who took care of the deceased are being carefully monitored. BOTH nurses are doing fine. End of story.

  2. Bryan Hughes

    This is probably happening to some degree in every small town in the country. The waste of money is tremendous.

  3. Impressive – you’ve managed to squeeze 8 paragraphs out of an absolute non-story. I know this is a small outfit in a small town, but how about a little tiny bit of journalistic integrity? Please?

  4. Justin MrPerfect Keep

    Jennifer Johnston would’ve been nice if you were informed of this presentation, you could’ve attended it yesterday.

  5. Watch “Waters World” sometime on FNC and see how many people don’t even know what ebola is. Hopefully, maybe someone just learned something. Knowledge is power!

  6. James Messer

    Are you also this concerned about alcoholism? It causes more deaths in this town than all the cases of Ebola in America. Fix the problems you have before you start looking for more.

  7. Bud Begin

    I’ve never heard of the country of West Africa before…

  8. No James I’m not because I can’t do anything about that nor can I catch it as I don’t drink. On the other hand ebola is a sure death sentence for me if contracted due to my Addison’s disease.

  9. Linda Kelsey

    Not END of story pull your head out of the sand, this is just the beginning, not one case of Ebola should be in the USA if obama had been doing his job, how you left wingers can still defend this poor excuse of a president is beyond me !!!!!!!

  10. Lonnie Alcaida-North

    Your hatred for the president goes beyond insanity. Try researching the data. Use facts, not opinions. Calling me a “left winger” is something I’m proud of. Can you say the same of your obstructionist and bigoted “right wing” party?? I doubt it. By the way. The dog of one of the nurses infected with the virus has been tested CLEAR. Spin that one.


  12. @Lonnie, Really I think I’m educated enough to know when someone is incompetent and unable to do the job he was put in office to do, you would think after the first two or three dozen lies and scandals this president has been involved in an educated person might start to question his integrity! You stated that I hate the president I never said that so please don’t put words in my mouth, do I think he is incompetent YES, do I respect him NO, do I think he has been good for our country NO! I could list a million reasons why but won’t, do I hate him NO, to tell the truth I actually voted for him the first time around because I really believed in him and his message but it only took less than a year for me to realize that he was not the man he claimed to be, so if that is insanity so be it. I see no reason to have to spin anything the facts are the facts. We all have the right to our own opinion and as much as I disagree with yours I respect your right to have them, and with that said I wish you a good day. 🙂

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