CDC Report Highlights Role of Private Industry in Fight Against Ebola in Liberia

Firestone Liberia Helps Combat the Disease with Prevention, Education and Treatment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 21, 2014) – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) which provides an update on the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, specifically in Liberia. Liberia, the epicenter of the Ebola crisis, has the highest number of cases and all indications are that number will only continue to grow. To assist government and health organizations efforts, Firestone Liberia (Firestone), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., has implemented education and prevention programs and treats suspected cases and patients at the Firestone Medical Center in Duside.

During his visit to CDC headquarters in Atlanta in September, President Barack Obama concurred that prevention is key saying, “The world knows how to fight this disease. It’s not a mystery. We know the science. We know how to prevent it from spreading. We know how to care for those who contract it. We know that if we take the proper steps, we can save lives. But we have to act fast.” The efforts of Firestone Liberia speak directly to the president’s sentiment and mandate, which the MMWR highlights.

According to the MMWR, the first known case of Ebola on the Firestone property was identified by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on March 30, 2014. To prevent the disease from spreading to the nearly 80,000 people living within the borders of Firestone Liberia, which includes employees, their dependents and other communities within the concession, Firestone immediately began implementing containment and treatment protocols.

These efforts have included: 1) rapid establishment of an incident management system; 2) active and passive surveillance for Ebola; 3) immediate isolation of Ebola patients in a dedicated unit; 4) monitoring of contacts according to the nature of their exposure; 5) provision of essential resources, including meals, communications, and prayer services to persons voluntarily quarantined; and 6) allowing for quarantine in the home of exposed, asymptomatic contacts with provision of health education, personal protective equipment, and sanitary supplies.

“This epidemic is far from over, but we continue to see encouraging signs as a result of our education efforts, community outreach programs, quarantine protocols and the care provided at our Ebola Treatment Unit,” said Ed Garcia, President and Managing Director, Firestone Liberia.

The increasing number of cases has made it difficult to implement an effective strategy to combat Ebola. However, the MMWR suggests that procedures and protocols, such as those Firestone employs, will help stymy the spread of the disease, including transmission to health care workers. For the full MMWR, go to:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm63e1021a1.htm?s_cid=mm63e1021a1_e

About Bridgestone Corporation:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planetmessage, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.

About Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC:
Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC traces its origins back to 1926 when The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company first established a natural rubber production facility in Liberia, West Africa. The company’s Firestone Liberia, Inc. subsidiary operates an 118,000-acre rubber growing and processing facility, employing more than 7,000 employees who harvest and process natural rubber and latex. After processing, the natural rubber (dry rubber and liquid latex) is shipped to the United States. The dry rubber is used by Bridgestone Americas’ tire plants throughout North America in the manufacture of tires. The latex is sold to third party North American manufacturers of dipped goods, adhesives and carpet backing. Firestone is North America’s leading supplier of natural latex concentrate.