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Experts: Ebola's Risk of Spreading in U.S. Low, Local Doctors Prepared In Case
DAYTON -- The images out of West Africa are heart wrenching as the Ebola epidemic claims more and more lives. Members of the medical community are taking note, including those here in Dayton.
The first of two infected Americans - Missionary Dr. Kent Brantly who was treating patients there - arrived for his own treatment at Atlanta's Emory Hospital Saturday.
"It's understandable that with a deadly disease people are concerned. But the plain truth is that we can stop Ebola, we know how to control it," said Tom Frieden, the Director of the CDC.
Kettering Medical Center and other area hospitals are always prepared for any threat that comes in the door.
"There are immediate isolation precautions that go into place from the time they come into the emergency department all the way through," said Dr. Nancy Pook, Kettering Medical Center's Medical Director.
Ebola does not spread through casual contact like coughing of sneezing, it has to be spread through bodily fluids. That is why health care workers are more at risk, including people like Zach Butts who works in a local hospital.
"Nothing to be concerned about... not at all," Butts said.
"The chances of this spreading from person to person are honestly very low, very low. This is not expected to be a disease that has a concern in the United States," Pook explained. She runs Kettering's Emergency Room.
In West Africa, hand-held thermometers and thermal imaging cameras are employed to spot anyone with a fever, hoping to stop Ebola from getting on a flight.
"Even though it's a very confined - what we often call a germ tube," Pook said, referring to a plane; "You do get colds and that type of illness but you're not going to get Ebola from sitting next to somebody even coming from that kind of area."
On this side of the pond, U.S. immigration officers are trained to look for sick passengers, and anyone with worrisome symptoms would be rushed to an isolation room at the airport.
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