Dozens of People Attend Ebola Informational Meeting in Brooklyn Park

Updated: 08/03/2014 10:17 PM By: Megan Stewart

More than 100 people showed up to a meeting Sunday to address concerns about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Brooklyn Park.

Health officials say there's no reason to think that an outbreak would happen in Minnesota or the U.S.

The current outbreak of Ebola is highly contagious and kills more than 60 percent of people infected. Brooklyn Park is home to many West African immigrants, one of the areas most affected.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) met with leaders from the local Liberian community last week to discuss concerns regarding the ongoing outbreak of Ebola.

"We were approached by some members of the Liberian community who were concerned about the continuing outbreak in Liberia and West Africa, and what appeared to be an escalating situation in that country," MDH spokesman Doug Schultz said.

Schultz says the concern is not new to the community and that the department has been taking calls for months. "For the most part, it's been addressing individual concerns about traveling."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says old-fashioned practices are required to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa. That means finding the patients and their contacts, making sure they're treated, educating the public and doing rigorous infection control in hospitals. Ebola is only spread through direct contact of bodily fluids.

A man who died from the disease was set to visit Minnesota this month. Family said it would have been easy for him to get on a plane and bring the virus overseas.

The informational meeting in Brooklyn Park was held at the Community Activity Center on 85th Avenue North.