City of Vernon California

City News

News & Events

Honorable William ‘Bill’ Davis elected Mayor of Vernon

Press Release

Vernon, CA – Honorable William "Bill" Davis, Vernon mayor pro tem for the past three years, was elected mayor of the City of Vernon today by a 4-to-1 vote of the five-member Vernon City Council. He previously served as mayor from October 2012 to April 2013.

Mayor Davis said, "I am honored my fellow council members have, once again, placed their faith in me to serve as our city's mayor. I was very proud to serve our city as mayor pro tem. I continue to greatly appreciate the role and responsibility of leadership on behalf of Vernon's residents and business community."

Honorable Yvette Woodruff-Perez, Vernon city council member, was elected by a unanimous vote of the five-member city council to succeed Mayor Davis as mayor pro tempore.

Leticia Lopez sworn in as Vernon City Council Member

Press Release

Vernon, CA – Leticia Lopez took her oath of office today to become an elected member of the Vernon City Council following the city council's certification of April 12 municipal election results of her write-in campaign election victory over incumbent Councilmember W. Michael McCormick, who served as Vernon's mayor for the past three-years.

Following her oath of office, Councilmember Lopez briefly addressed members of the public attending today's city council meeting, saying, "I am privileged to be standing here before you as the newest City of Vernon council member. I look forward to serving the City of Vernon with integrity by being proactive and thinking critically in order to make decisions for the city."

"My vision is to create community between businesses and residents to keep Vernon moving forward and continue to prosper. My work as a family advocate has provided me with knowledge and experience in working within my community, which will assist me greatly in my newly elected position. I greatly look forward to working with each and every one of my fellow council members in order to keep the City of Vernon on its path to continued success," Councilmember Lopez added.

Councilmember Lopez is the fourth Latina to win election to the Vernon city council since June 2012. She serves a five-year term in office.

Leticia Lopez elected to Vernon City Council in final unofficial April 12 election vote count

Press Release

Vernon, CA – Leticia Lopez has been elected to a five-year term on the Vernon City Council in the final unofficial vote count in the city's April 12 election.

Councilmember-elect Lopez, a write-in-candidate, won over incumbent Councilmember W. Michael McCormick, who won election to the five-member city council 42-years ago and served as Vernon's mayor since April 2013.

The final unofficial municipal election results showed Councilmember-elect Lopez winning with 21-votes to Mayor McCormick's 14-votes. David J. Ybarra, a second write-in candidate, received one vote.

Vernon City Clerk Maria Ayala and her four-member election canvassing board tallied vote-by-mail results from 36-ballots. The clerk's office received 37 vote-by-mail ballots from Vernon's 72 registered voters, representing a voter turnout greater than 50%. One registered voter's ballot was disallowed for lack of a voter signature.

The final election results of the April 12 Vernon Municipal Election will be certified by a vote of city council members attending tomorrow's (Tuesday, April 19) regularly scheduled session in City Council Chambers.

Councilmember-elect Lopez is scheduled to be administered her oath of office and to assume her seat on the city council following the April 12 election results certification.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Write-in candidate Leticia Lopez leads incumbent Council Member W. Michael McCormick for seat on Vernon City Council after preliminary unofficial vote count of mail-in ballots

Press Release (PDF: 100KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon voters yesterday gave Leticia Lopez, a write-in candidate, a slim two-vote lead over incumbent Councilmember W. Michael McCormick for a five-year term on the Vernon City Council based on the preliminary unofficial vote count in the city's vote-by-mail contested election. Councilmember McCormick has served as Vernon's mayor since an April 2013 vote by the five-member city council.

The preliminary unofficial municipal election vote count has Ms. Lopez leading 15-votes to Mayor McCormick's 13-votes. David J. Ybarra, a second write-in candidate, received one vote.

Vernon City Clerk Maria Ayala and her four-member election canvassing board tallied vote results from 29-ballots. The clerk's office received 33 vote-by-mail ballots from Vernon's 72 registered voters. One voter's ballot was disallowed for lack of a voter signature. Three vote-by-mail ballots remain to be canvassed based on the clerk's need to verify voter signatures on those ballots.

The clerk's office will conduct a final unofficial ballot canvass on Monday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. The final canvass will determine the final unofficial vote count from the three uncanvassed ballots that were received, but not counted plus any remaining ballots that are received no later than Friday, April 15 that were postmarked on or before April 12.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: www.cityofvernon.org/election

Carlos R. Fandino appointed Vernon City Administrator

Press Release (PDF: 110KB)

Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council today appointed Carlos R. Fandino to serve as Vernon city administrator. Since September 2010, Mr. Fandino had served as director of Vernon Gas & Electric, a municipal-owned utility serving the city's nearly 2,000 industrial business and residential customers.

On his appointment, Mr. Fandino said, "I'm honored and gratified to have been chosen by members of the Vernon City Council to lead our city through its next exciting phase: a period of sustained business growth strengthened by our city's good governance practices and improved relations with its surrounding communities."

"Vernon is one of the most important industrial engines in L.A. County for business, economic and job development. We intend to build on more than a century of municipal success. My experience in managing complex financial transactions, bond financing, department budgets, and understanding Vernon's infrastructure needs has prepared me to hit the ground running as Vernon city administrator," Mr. Fandino said.

During his tenure as director of Vernon Gas & Electric (formerly known as Vernon Light & Power), Mr. Fandino has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) and an executive committee member of the Western Systems Power Pool (WSPP). Prior to his appointment as director of Gas & Electric, Mr. Fandino served as systems operator for the city's utility department.

During his 27-year career with Vernon Gas & Electric, Mr. Fandino held senior management positions in the utility department, serving as transmission and distribution manager, electric dispatcher, resource scheduler, and engineering and operations project manager.

Mr. Fandino was part of the original team that reestablished Vernon's municipal-owned electrical system after city leaders successfully negotiated a settlement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to reinstate its power system operating rights.  In 2001, he was a member of the team charged with constructing Malburg Generation Station (MGS), the city's 134-megawatt natural gas power plant that was later sold to a private entity.

Mr. Fandino is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and decorated reservist. He served with the 2nd Marine Division Light Armored Vehicle Battalion in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War in 1990.

Mr. Fandino graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Business & Management from Woodbury University. He is married and the father to three college-age young adults.

John Van de Kamp submits final report as Vernon Independent Reform Monitor, says ‘Vernon’s good governance is still strong.’

Press Release (PDF: 103KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon Independent Reform Monitor John Van de Kamp has issued his 10th and final biannual report on the city's good governance policies and practices that commenced in February 2011 when he assumed an initial one-year role as the city's independent ethics advisor

In Mr. Van de Kamp's 41-page January 2016 report, he concluded, "Former [California Assembly] Speaker [John] Perez believed Vernon, because of its small electorate, is unable to govern itself properly. The city must continue to prove him wrong and live up to the expectations of [California Senate President Pro Tem] Kevin De León and others who gave Vernon a 'second chance.' Hiring a new city administrator [who is] committed to ethical and good governance practices is key to meeting the expectations of the 'second chance' Vernon was granted."

In the preface to his report, Mr. Van de Kamp wrote, "The city has shown consistent support for the essential reform measures recommended by Senator De León and me. In sum it can be said that Vernon's good governance is still strong. With the forthcoming change of leadership and replacement of key executives, extra effort needs to be exercised to make sure the progress made in the past four years continues."

In addition to chronicling Vernon's good governance reform progress since 2012, Mr. Van de Kamp has provided his independent critique on matters related to Vernon's finance and budget, internal and external audits, housing, city elections, and business activity.

Interim City Administrator A.J. Wilson said, "John Van de Kamp played an indispensable role as Vernon's independent reform monitor. When he began his work, Vernon was on the brink of dissolution due to the Legislature's menacing disincorporation measure. Mr. Van de Kamp's involvement with the city showed that Vernon was serious about carrying out reforms. In the past five-years, more than 150 good governance reforms have been implemented in response to Mr. Van de Kamp's recommendations. We owe Mr. Van de Kamp our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for his stellar work and thorough commitment as Vernon's independent reform monitor."

To view the full text of Mr. Van de Kamp's January 2016 Independent Reform Monitor report, click here.

 

Vernon City Council members appoint Derek Wieske to serve as city’s public works director

Press Release (PDF: 28k)

Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council today announced the appointment
of Derek Wieske to direct the city's Public Works, Water and Development Services
department. He currently serves as assistant city engineer for the Long Beach Public
Works Department. Mr. Wieske will assume his new position on February 22.

Mr. Wieske is a registered civil engineer with more than 25-years of professional
experience and management expertise in municipal capital projects, private
development review and city infrastructure improvements, such as roads, bridges and
drainage systems, as well as street maintenance, solid waste management, traffic
signal improvements and bike infrastructure.

Mr. Wieske will oversee four departmental divisions: Building, Planning, Public Works
and Water. Vernon's public works department offers a streamlined, 'one-stop' approach
to permitting new development. Developers may process permits and receive project
specific information on building and zoning codes, public rights-of-way and water
services at the public works department's City Hall counter.

Over the course of his professional career, Mr. Wieske has served as public works
director for the cities of Rancho Santa Margarita and Los Alamitos, deputy public works
director for Rialto, assistant city engineer for Laguna Beach, civil engineering associate
for Lake Forest and civil engineer for Orange.

Mr. Wieske has earned a master's degree in Business Administration and master's
degree in Science (Civil Engineering) from California State University, Long Beach. He
earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from University of California, Irvine.
He succeeds Samuel Kevin Wilson, Vernon's recently retired public works director.

A.J. Wilson appointed Interim Vernon City Administrator

January 7, 2016

Press Release (PDF: 142KB)

Vernon, CA – Members of the Vernon City Council announced today the appointment of A.J. Wilson to serve as the city's interim city administrator during the city's ongoing
executive search for a permanent city administrator.

Mr. Wilson is a public administration consultant with more than 40-years of public management experience. He most recently served as executive director of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority and Inland Valley Development Agency. He has served as a senior advisor to city managers in San Bernardino and Riverside.

Mr. Wilson was former deputy mayor in St. Louis, Missouri and city manager in the cities of Pomona, Santa Ana, Kansas City, Portland (Maine), and interim city manager in Norco. Mr. Wilson is president of Wilson Communications, LLC, a management services consulting firm.

In September 2015, Vernon council members engaged Bob Murray & Associates, an executive search firm, to recruit qualified candidates for city administrator. Council members are expected to interview prospective candidates in the coming weeks.

Former Vernon City Administrator Mark C. Whitworth retired on December 28, 2015 after more than 26-years of public service as a Vernon firefighter, fire captain, battalion chief, fire chief and city administrator. City leaders thanked Mr. Whitworth for his years of service and wished him well in his retirement and future endeavors.

 

City of Vernon Declares the Week of October 18 - October 24, 2015 as Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week

October 13, 2015

Press Release

WHEREAS, the California Healthy Workplace Advocates and the Workplace Bullying Institute, raise awareness of the impacts of, and solutions for, workplace bullying in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, the City of Vernon has an interest in promoting the social and economic well-being of its residents, businesses, and employees; and

WHEREAS, that well-being depends upon the existence of healthy and productive employees working in safe and abuse-free work environments; and

WHEREAS, research has documented the stress-related health consequences for individuals caused by exposure to abusive work environments; and

WHEREAS, abusive work environments are costly for employers, with consequences including reduced productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and injuries; and

WHEREAS, protection from abusive work environments should apply to every worker, and not be limited to legally protected class status based only on race, color, gender, national origin, age, or disability; and

WHEREAS, the City of Vernon wishes to invite all residents and businesses within the City of Vernon to support the California Healthy Workplace Advocates and the Workplace Bullying Institute for its efforts to promote safe and abuse-free work environments.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE MAYOR AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VERNON, ON BEHALF OF ITS EMPLOYEES, RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES, HEREBY DECLARES THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2015, AS FREEDOM FROM WORKPLACE BULLIES WEEK.  THIS PROCLAMATION IS BEING PRESENTED TO CALIFORNIA HEALTHY WORKPLACE ADVOCATES AND THE WORKPLACE BULLYING INSTITUTE BY THE HONORABLE MAYOR W. MICHAEL MCCORMICK FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF VERNON THIS 6TH DAY OF OCTOBER, TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.

California Competes Tax Credit Application

June 29, 2015


Notice: California Competes Tax Credit Application Periods for Fiscal Year 2015-2016


Application Periods: For fiscal year 2015-16, applications for the California Competes Tax Credit will be accepted online at www.calcompetes.ca.gov during the following periods:

1. January 4, 2016, through January 25, 2016 ($75 million available)
2. March 7, 2016, through March 28, 2016 ($50.9 million plus any remaining unallocatedamounts from the previous application periods)

GO-BIZ Workshop Application Presentation (PDF: 18MB)

Committee Meetings: The California Competes Tax Credit Committee meetings will be held on the following dates:

1.November 10, 2015
2.April 14, 2016
3.June 16, 2016
Times and locations to be determined.

Instructions/FAQs: www.business.ca.gov/calcompetes.aspx 

Apply at: www.calcompetes.ca.gov 

Contact California Competes Tax Credit Staff:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
Phone: (916) 322-4051


Free Used Oil Recycling Program for Owner/Operator Truckers

Event Flyer (PDF: 504KB)

Local truckers can recycle up to 20 gallons of used oil for free

The City of Vernon will be holding a used oil recycling collection event on Saturday,
September 5th, 2015 from 9:00am to 1:00pm at Vernon Fire Station #3, 2800 S. Soto St.
Owner/operator truckers who live and/or work in Vernon and the surrounding cities are
encouraged to bring their used motor oil and filters to recycle for free. Truckers are
limited to 20 gallons maximum for this event. Oil must be transported in a clean, nonbreakable
container; contaminated oil will not be accepted.

"Used motor oil and filters are highly recyclable," says Kevin Sales, Vernon's Used Oil
Recycling Program coordinator. "The City wants to make used motor oil and filter
recycling as easy for owner/operator truckers as possible. There have not been any used
oil recycling programs of this kind specifically focused on truck drivers. Recycling used
oil reduces pollution and illegal dumping in the City of Vernon. These collection events
will also provide a free, convenient service for truckers who may not have other places to
dispose of their used oil."

The City of Vernon encourages local truck drivers to participate in the event and to
recycle their used motor oil and filters. Supplementary educational materials will be
available as well as additional promotional items for eligible participants.

Other used oil collection centers can be located by calling 888-CLEAN-LA, or visiting
www.888cleanla.com. Further information regarding the Truckers Recycle program can
be obtained by visiting www.TruckersRecycle.com, calling 1-844-3-TRUCKER (1-844-
387-8253) or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information or to schedule an interview, please call Kevin Sales at 562-944-
4766 or e-mail Kevin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Yvette Woodruff-Perez sworn in as Vernon City Council member

April 22, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 152KB)

Vernon, CA – Yvette Woodruff-Perez took her oath of office today as an elected
member of the Vernon City Council. Her election creates a first-ever female majority
and first-ever Latina majority on the five-member Vernon city council in the city's 109-
year history.

In brief remarks following her oath of office, Council Member Woodruff-Perez said, "I'm
truly humbled by this opportunity to serve as your new council member. My training as
a student nurse has taught me to think critically and make informed decisions for the
benefit of my patients. I will be applying those same principals to make good policy
decisions for our city. Since 2011, Vernon has become a better city. If we stay on our
present path, I believe our city will continue to grow and prosper in such a way that no
[future] disincorporation attempt would ever succeed."

"The City of Vernon should continue to strive for a business friendly, desirable
community atmosphere. Our most important resources are our resilient residents,
talented business owners, skilled industrial workers, city employees, and highly trained
public safety personnel," Councilmember Woodruff-Perez said.

Council Member Woodruff-Perez joins Council Members Luz Martinez and Melissa
Ybarra on the Vernon city council. In a 3-to-2 vote of the council today, Mayor W.
Michael McCormick was chosen to retain his current position as mayor. Mayor Pro Tem
William 'Bill' Davis was chosen by unanimous vote to retain his present position as
mayor pro tempore.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Vernon voters elect Yvette Woodruff-Perez to Vernon City Council

April 22, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 148KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon voters elected candidate Yvette Woodruff-Perez to the Vernon

City Council in the Tuesday, April 14 municipal election. Based on the final official vote
count, Councilmember Woodruff-Perez defeated candidate Dennis E. Roberts.

Ms. Woodruff-Perez's election establishes a first-ever female majority on the fivemember
Vernon city council in the city's 109-year history. Additionally, Ms. Woodruff-
Perez's election establishes a first-ever Latina majority on the Vernon city council.

Ms. Woodruff-Perez received 21-votes. Mr. Roberts received 13-votes. 35-ballots were
canvassed by the city clerk's six-member municipal election canvassing board. A total
of 36-ballots were received from the city's 63 registered voters.

Two ballot measures were approved in the April 14 election. Measure O was passed by
a vote of YES: 29-votes, NO: 4-votes. Measure P was passed by a vote of YES: 27-
votes, NO: 6-votes.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Statement on Exide Technologies battery recycling plant closure agreement

March 12, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 148KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon City Administrator Mark Whitworth today issued the following statement regarding the agreement reached with the U.S. Attorney by Exide Technologies, Inc. to close the company's battery recycling plant in Vernon.

"The City of Vernon intends to closely monitor the environmental cleanup of the Exide Technologies battery recycling plant, now that the company has reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney to close the facility permanently.

"For the past two-years, Vernon city staff with our Public Works, Fire and Health & Environmental Control departments have been working with Exide plant operators to expedite the safe cleanup of lead dust originating at the facility from nearby Vernon business properties and thoroughfares. We have had a multi-department Exide Working Group monitoring all aspects of Exide's plant operation and its impacts since the South Coast Air Quality Management District's study on arsenic emission was made public in April 2013.

"In November 2013, members of the Vernon City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the AQMD's Rule 1420.1, the agency's tough air emissions standards for lead acid battery recycling facilities in the South Coast Air Basin. Vernon was the only city to do so.

"As Exide commences will full closure of its plant operations and site cleanup, our city's staff will work cooperatively and collaboratively with federal, state and regional health, environmental and air quality agency staff to ensure the Exide plant closure process causes no harm to Vernon residents or business employees or residents and workers in our surrounding communities."

Melissa Ybarra sworn in as Vernon City Councilmember, succeeds her late father, grandfather and great uncle as an elected official in Vernon

March 3, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 147KB)

Vernon, CA – Melissa Ybarra took her oath of office today as an elected member of the Vernon City Council, becoming the fourth member of the immediate and extended Ybarra family to serve in elected office in the City of Vernon since the 1930s.

Following her oath of office, Councilmember Ybarra said, in a brief address to the public attending today's city council meeting, "I am honored to be able to be a part of this council and I look forward to working with the city and the business community to keep Vernon growing strong and transparent. I plan on making a difference in the community that I have grown up in."

"For the businesses, advocating good governance when executing the approved budgets, studying the facts and being active in understanding the impacts to the businesses when decisions are made by the council are among my top priorities. I plan on embracing some of the characteristics that my father, Michael Ybarra, had. I plan on serving this seat with honesty and integrity. I plan on questioning all that I do not understand," Councilmember Ybarra said.

Councilmember Ybarra is the daughter of the Honorable Michael A. Ybarra, a former Vernon City Councilmember who died in office in September 2014. She ran unopposed in the city's February 17 special election, receiving 25-votes out of 25-ballots cast by Vernon's 63 registered voters. Councilmember Ybarra serves the remainder of her late father's unexpired term. She will face re-election in April 2017.

Councilmember Ybarra is the granddaughter of Vernon Mayor Pro Tempore Thomas A. Ybarra who served on the city council for 43-years and great niece of former Vernon Councilmember Esteban Peralta who served on the council for 15-years in the 1930s.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Vernon voters elect Melissa Ybarra to succeed her late father on the Vernon City Council

February 17, 2015

Press Release (PDF: 146KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon voters have elected candidate Melissa Ybarra to the Vernon City Council in today's special municipal election semi-official vote count. Councilmember-elect Ybarra was unopposed in today's special election. No write-in candidates had qualified for the election.

Ms. Ybarra received 24-votes out of 24-ballots canvassed. A total of 25-ballots were received from the city's 63 registered voters by the time polls closed at 8:00 p.m. One ballot was not canvassed pending signature verification for the voter's ballot. A second ballot canvass will be conducted to tally the vote on any remaining ballots – postmarked today – that may be received within three days of today's special election.

Councilmember-elect Ybarra is the daughter of the Honorable Michael A. Ybarra, a former Vernon City Councilmember who unexpectedly died while in office in September 2014.

Pending verification by Vernon City Clerk Maria Ayala and certification of the total vote count by the Vernon City Council, Councilmember-elect Ybarra will serve the remainder of her late father's unexpired term. She will face reelection in April 2017.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

Van de Kamp’s January 2015 Independent Reform Monitor Report concludes, ‘Vernon in the past six months continues on its reform path’

February 5, 2015

Press Release (PDF:  144KB)

Vernon, CA – John Van de Kamp, Independent Reform Monitor of Vernon's good governance policies and ethics practices, has issued his eighth in a series of in-depth, biannual progress reports [dating back to his role as the city's independent ethics advisor in February 2011].

In his 32-page report, issued on January 31, 2015, Mr. Van de Kamp concluded, "Vernon in the past six months continues on its reform path. While the city still has much to do, the issues it faces – budget balancing, dealing with its unfunded pension liability, [bond] refinancing, establishing new zoning rules and infrastructure investment – are issues facing most cities. Most important, they are on Vernon's agenda. Many of them will be addressed within 2015."

In the preface to his report, Mr. Van de Kamp writes, "This report, which essentially covers the period July 31, 2014 to January 31, 2015, was prepared with the assistance of Robert Stern, former president of the Center for Government Studies and former general counsel to the Fair Political Practices Commission... In those six months we have seen continuing progress."

To view the full text of Mr. Van de Kamp's January 31, 2015 Independent Reform Monitor progress report on Vernon's governance and reforms, go to:

http://www.cityofvernon.org/images/government/JohnVanDeKampIndependentReformMonitorReport_01_31_15.pdf

Vernon Council Members vote to hold special municipal election on February 17, 2015 to fill seat of the late Councilmember Michael A. Ybarra

October 21, 2014

Press Release (PDF: 67KB)

Vernon, CA – Vernon city council members today voted to schedule a special municipal
election on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 to enable Vernon voters to elect a successor to
serve the remainder of the late Councilmember Michael A. Ybarra's unexpired term on
the five-member Vernon City Council. Councilmember Ybarra was elected in April 2012.
He passed away on September 26. His term expires in April 2017.

The city council candidate nomination period for the special municipal election opens on
Monday, October 27 and closes on Monday, November 24.

For more City of Vernon election information, go to: cityofvernon.org/election

How do I protect myself against Ebola?

October 20, 2014

Press Release

In light of the first imported case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., we wanted to remind you of the valuable resources provided by CDC.  The CDC Website for Ebola Virus Disease has information for Healthcare Workers, Communications FAQs, and  information on the recent case.

How do I protect myself against Ebola?

If you must travel to an area affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, protect yourself by doing the following:

·          Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·          Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.

·          Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.

·          Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.

·          Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.

·          Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on medical facilities.

·          Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5°F/ 38.6°C) and any of the other

following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

o     Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

For general information about Ebola, please use the links below:

·          About Ebola(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html)

·          Signs and Symptoms(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html)

·          Transmission(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/index.html)

·          Risk of Exposure(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/index.html)

·          Prevention(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/index.html)

CDC has issued a Warning, Level 3 travel notice for three countries. U.S. citizens should avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. CDC has issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for Nigeria. Travelers to Nigeria should take enhanced precautions to prevent Ebola. CDC has also issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A small number of Ebola cases have been reported in the DRC, though current information indicates that this outbreak is not related to the ongoing Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. For travel notices and other information for travelers, visit the Travelers' Health Ebola web page .

Has the first patient to become sick in this outbreak, know as "patient zero" been identified?

Reports in the medical literature and elsewhere have attempted to identify the patient who might have been the initial person infected in the West Africa Ebola outbreak. It's important for CDC to learn as much as it can about the source and initial spread of any outbreak.

With regard to the West Africa Ebola outbreak, tracing the lineage of how Ebola has spread thus far can help CDC apply that knowledge toward better prevention and care techniques. The knowledge gained in this work might entail details about specific patients. CDC generally refrains, however, from identifying particular patients in any aspect of an outbreak.

What is CDC doing in the U.S. about the outbreak in West Africa?

CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to help coordinate technical assistance and control activities with partners. CDC has deployed several teams of public health experts to the West Africa region and plans to send additional public health experts to the affected countries to expand current response activities.

If an ill traveler arrives in the U.S., CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease. These protocols include having airline crew notify CDC of ill travelers on a plane before arrival, evaluation of ill travelers, and isolation and transport to a medical facility if needed. CDC, along with Customs & Border Patrol, has also provided guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew and for disinfecting aircraft. CDC has issued a Health Alert Notice reminding U.S. healthcare workers about the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of this virus, how to test and isolate patients with suspected cases, and how to protect themselves from infection.

Infection Control

Can hospitals in the United States care for an Ebola patient?

Any U.S. hospital that is following CDC's infection control recommendations(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/environmental-infection-control-in-hospitals.html) and can isolate a patient in their own room with a private bathroom is capable of safely managing a patient with Ebola.

Travelers

What is being done to prevent ill travelers in West Africa from getting on a plane?

In West Africa

CDC's Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) is working with airlines, airports, and ministries of health to provide technical assistance for the development of exit screening and travel restrictions in the affected areas. This includes:

·          Assessing the ability of Ebola-affected countries and airports to conduct exit screening,

·          Assisting with development of exit screening protocols,

·          Training staff on exit screening protocols and appropriate PPE use, and

·          Training in-country staff to provide future trainings.

During Travel

CDC works with international public health organizations, other federal agencies, and the travel industry to identify sick travelers arriving in the United States and take public health actions to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Airlines are required to report any deaths onboard or ill travelers meeting certain criteria to CDC before arriving into the United States, and CDC and its partners determine whether any public health action is needed. If a traveler is infectious or exhibiting symptoms during or after a flight, CDC will conduct an investigation of exposed travelers and work with the airline, federal partners, and state and local health departments to notify them and take any necessary public health action. When CDC receives a report of an ill traveler on a cruise or cargo ship, CDC officials work with the shipping line to make an assessment of public health risk and to coordinate any necessary response.

In the United States

CDC has staff working 24/7 at 20 Border Health field offices located in international airports and land borders. CDC staff are ready 24/7 to investigate cases of ill travelers on planes and ships entering the United States.

CDC works with partners at all ports of entry into the United States to help prevent infectious diseases from being introduced and spread in the United States. CDC works with Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, state and local health departments, and local Emergency Medical Services staff.

Relatively few of the approximately 350 million travelers who enter the United States each year come from these countries. Secondly, most people who become infected with Ebola are those who live with or care for people who have already caught the disease and are showing symptoms. CDC and healthcare providers in the United States are prepared for the remote possibility that a traveler could get Ebola and return to the U.S. while sick.

What do I do if I'm returning to the U.S. from the area where the outbreak is occurring?

After you return, pay attention to your health.

·          Monitor your health for 21 days if you were in an area with an Ebola outbreak, especially if you were in contact with blood or body fluids, items that have come in contact with blood or body fluids, animals or raw meat, or hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated or participated in burial rituals.

·          Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5°F/ 38.6°C) and any of the

following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

·          Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms before you go to the office or emergency

room. Advance notice will help your doctor care for you and protect other people who may be in the office.

What do I do if I am traveling to an area where the outbreak is occurring?

If you are traveling to an area where the Ebola outbreak is occurring, protect yourself by doing the following:

·          Wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·          Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.

·          Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids.

·          Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.

·          Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.

·          Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.

·          Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever (temperature of 101.5oF/ 38.6oC) and any of the other following symptoms: headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

o     Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

Should people traveling to Africa be worried about the outbreak?

Ebola has only been reported in multiple countries in West Africa (see Affected Countries(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html#areas)). A small number of cases in Nigeria have been associated with a man from Liberia who traveled to Lagos and died from Ebola, but the virus does not appear to have been widely spread. CDC has issued a Warning, Level 3 travel notice for United States citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. CDC has issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for travelers to Nigeria urging them to protect themselves by avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are sick with Ebola. CDC has also issued an Alert, Level 2 travel notice for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A small number of Ebola cases have been reported in the DRC, though current information indicates that this outbreak is not related to the ongoing Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. You can find more information on these travel notices at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

CDC currently does not recommend that travelers avoid visiting other African countries. Although spread to other countries is possible, CDC is working with the governments of affected countries to control the outbreak. Ebola is a very low risk for most travelers – it is spread through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of a sick person, so travelers can protect themselves by avoiding sick people and hospitals where patients with Ebola are being treated.

Why were the ill Americans with Ebola brought to the U.S. for treatment? How is CDC protecting the American public?

A U.S. citizen has the right to return to the United States. Although CDC can use several measures to prevent disease from being introduced in the United States, CDC must balance the public health risk to others with the rights of the individual. In this situation, the patients who came back to the United States for care were transported with appropriate infection control procedures in place to prevent the disease from being transmitted to others.

Ebola poses no substantial risk to the U.S. general population. CDC recognizes that Ebola causes a lot of public worry and concern, but CDC's mission is to protect the health of all Americans, including those who may become ill while overseas. Ebola patients can be transported and managed safely when appropriate precautions are used.

What does CDC's Travel Alert Level 3 mean to U.S. travelers?

CDC recommends that U.S. residents avoid nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. If you must travel (for example, to do for humanitarian aid work in response to the outbreak) protect yourself by following  CDC 's advice for avoiding contact with the blood and body fluids of people who are ill with Ebola. For more information about the travel alerts, see Travelers' Health Ebola web page.

Travel notices are designed to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues related to specific destinations. These issues may arise from disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, natural disasters, or other conditions that may affect travelers' health. A level 3 alert means that there is a high risk to travelers and that CDC advises that travelers avoid nonessential travel.

In the United States

Are there any cases of people contracting Ebola in the U.S.?

CDC confirmed on September 30, 2014, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/united-states-imported-case.html). The person traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas, and later sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. The medical facility has isolated the patient. Based on the person's travel history and symptoms, CDC recommended testing for Ebola.

CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

Is there a danger of Ebola spreading in the U.S.?

Ebola is not spread through casual contact; therefore, the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. is very low. We know how to stop Ebola's further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.

Are people who were on the plane with this patient at risk?

A person must have symptoms to spread Ebola to others. The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring. The person reported developing symptoms five days after the return flight. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.