A lot of people have pretty much put COVID-19 out of their minds and into the rearview mirror.

However, Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann isn’t one of those people.

Vann said this week that, though cases of the disease aren’t as prevalent as before, the county is still providing community vaccination events, remaining vigilant about potential outbreaks and speaking out about measures that help prevent the spread of the disease.

Vann also said this week that there are other communicable diseases out there that could turn into threats in Guilford County and the department is monitoring those as well.

For instance, she said, the Ebola virus is a rare but deadly disease found mainly in sub-Saharan Africa that’s transmitted through contact with an infected animal or a sick or dead person who’s been infected with the virus.

“We don’t have any cases here but there are cases in Africa and, with travel these days, it’s something we look out for.” Vann said.

Vann said monkeypox was also a disease that had sounded alarm bells in health departments in the state and the country given the surge in cases last year in the United State.

As for COVID-19, Vann said it’s hard to know exactly the level at which it persists in Guilford County.  One reason is that, during the pandemic, people were getting tested frequently at doctor’s offices and medical clinics, however, in the past year the federal government has flooded the market with free home tests which makes it harder to collect accurate data.

Regardless of a perception that COVID-19 is gone, Vann said it is still very important that people get the newest updated bivalent vaccine.