Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Ebola | America | health | Africa | CDC

US Readies for Arrival of Ebola

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 08:03 AM

The chances of Ebola arriving in the United States is now considered likely, and professionals are preparing themselves to prevent a disease outbreak, Politico reported.

Top federal officials last week said the virus would make its way to America "eventually," and a recent study of international traffic patterns revealed that the United States is one of the top 16 countries at risk of "importing" a case of the deadly disease.

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"It's nothing to take lightly," Stephan Monroe of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Politico.

Hospitals, public health experts, and border control and customs officials are on high alert, and agencies are providing detailed guidance for how to handle detected cases.

Specifically, hospitals have been provided with basic resources and training to respond should a patient arrive in an emergency room with symptoms following travel to the affected areas. The CDC has also offered almost two dozen fact sheets, recommendations, and other guidelines to prepare staff, according to Politico.

"Most hospitals are ready and have been since the start," Monroe said.

Officials say that the United States is unlikely to suffer the widespread outbreak experienced in Africa due to the systems in place to identify the disease at its earliest stages, the procedures that are in place for containing the disease, and the treatment options that are available.

"There's a certain level of readiness now," said David Bowen, a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, one of the lawmakers whose work in developing bioterror preparedness helped improve procedures for public health emergencies.

The earliest signs include sudden vomiting and a high fever. Those who present symptoms are put in strict isolation, and health experts then have the challenge of limiting the possible spread of the illness by contact tracing and surveillance.

The virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, not through casual contact or airborne transmission as in the case with influenza.

"Ebola is not easily transmitted," Beth Bell, director of the CDC's National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases, told a recent Senate hearing, according to Politico. "We have many, many protocols in place, and with these protocols, most hospitals . . . can isolate a patient in a private room with their own bathroom and can follow very strict and meticulous infection control practices."

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The chances of Ebola arriving in the United States is now considered likely, and professionals are preparing themselves to prevent a disease outbreak, Politico reported.
Ebola, America, health, Africa, CDC
408
2014-03-24
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 08:03 AM
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