/ Modified oct 22, 2014 10:04 a.m.

Council Would Prepare Arizona in Case of Ebola Outbreak

Governor Brewer established a panel comprised of state health, public safety experts to combat infectious diseases.

Ebola virus SPOT Ebola virus.

Gov. Jan Brewer has established a council by executive order that would prepare the state in case of an Ebola outbreak.

The Council on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response will be made up of state health and human services, education and public safety experts, as well as military officials, a press release from Brewer's office said.

The group, which includes state Health Director Will Humble, state Chief Medical Officer Cara Christ and Board of Regents President Eileen Klein, would have to create and coordinate a plan to ensure Arizona is prepared to respond to potential outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as Ebola and enterovirus, the release said.

"In light of the recent emergence of highly infectious diseases and the growing worldwide attention surrounding Ebola, it is imperative that we take every practical measure to ensure that, if a case does arise in Arizona, we are well-equipped to address, control and ultimately eliminate its occurrence," Brewer said in a statement.

“By addressing the transmission and treatment of potential infectious diseases, promoting public awareness and providing accurate and timely information to the people of Arizona, this council will help ensure that we remain transparent, proactive and vigilant," Brewer added.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the state Department of Health Services authorization to begin testing blood samples for Ebola, if needed.

There have been three Ebola reports in Arizona, but none met the CDC's risk assessment criteria for testing.

Earlier in the week, Humble announced in his blog that the state health department had launched an "Ebola preparedness" website, with everything from symptom information to actions hospitals should take if a patient is diagnosed with Ebola.

The infectious disease council is required to deliver a preliminary plan to Brewer by Dec. 1.

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