OREGON COUNTY -- Region G which consists of nine south Missouri counties including Oregon County, will have additional resources to turn to as a regional response planner and regional epidemiology specialist has been hired. According to Oregon County Health Department Director Sheila Russell they will be located at the Texas County Health Department.
She said the positions are being added across the state to better prepare locally, regionally and statewide to respond to an emergency event.
She said the epidemiology specialist will be conducting disease surveillance across the region in an effort to detect disease outbreaks as well as unusual disease in the region. Russell said if an outbreak is occurring or an unusual disease is detected, the disease is tracked to see who's infected, who has been exposed, where the disease originated, and refer for treatment or follow-up with a healthcare provider if indicated.
The health department director said the new response planner will be working closely with different agencies and groups to help coordinate a regional bioterrorism plan that will be included in the overall state plan.
She said after the anthrax incident last fall, the need for a bioterrorism plan was quickly realized.