Health Policy Expert: US Hospitals Unprepared to Contain Ebola

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2014 05:36 PM

By Courtney Coren

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While health policy expert and former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey says that the "general public is not in danger" of contracting the Ebola virus, most U.S. hospitals are not prepared to contain the virus, if faced with it. 

"There could be a real danger for hospital patients and healthcare workers if a traveler unknowingly carrying Ebola arrives in this country and then seeks care at a hospital emergency room," McCaughey told Ed Berliner on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

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"Most hospitals in the United States are unprepared to contain Ebola," she explained. 

"In fact, most of these hospitals are unable to contain common infections like MRSA, C. diff, VRE — those are household names and they are racing through hospitals killing an estimated 75,000 people a year," the former New York lieutenant governor added.

McCaughey thinks "there's been a false or mistaken emphasis on the fact that this is not an airborne disease," adding that neither is MRSA, C. diff, or VRE.

"An Ebola patient becomes contagious in the later stages of the disease when the patient is vomiting, incurring diarrhea, bleeding internally and externally," she explained.

"A patient having those symptoms and appearing in a hospital emergency room could pose a real threat to other patients and to healthcare workers," she said.

"Most hospitals are simply unprepared to stop this kind of pathogen, and let me add that the CDC is also unprepared."

An American missionary and a doctor working overseas who contracted the virus were the first Ebola patients ever brought into the United States, which has been the subject of much controversy.

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