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Drill preps for hepatitis A outbreakPosted: Updated:
Officials in Rockland County are preparing today for the possibility of a major outbreak of an infectious disease.
County health officials tell News 12 they designed today’s drill in Pomona around hepatitis A because the virus has actually caused outbreaks in Westchester and other areas in the Hudson Valley.
In the mock scenario, officials say an employee in the produce department of a local supermarket unknowingly exposed hundreds of people to hepatitis A. If that were to have really happened, hundreds of people would be coming into the health department to be processed and vaccinated for the virus.
Health authorities say running through the process is key to helping county officials and the public prepare for an outbreak if and when it does happen. “It's very important for us to always be at the ready in public health. We don't know at any time, at any day of the week that we could have an issue like this drill covers today,” says Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.
Officials say the county will process more than 200 mock patients today in just two hours. A good test, they say, if a real outbreak were to happen.