How a local hospital would handle a potential case of Ebola - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

How a local hospital would handle a potential case of Ebola

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - There is a patient at a hospital in Dallas, TX that has tested positive for the ebola virus as of Tuesday night. The hospital has the patient in strict isolation to keep the disease from spreading. 

Melissa Green, Manager of Infection Prevention at NEA Baptist Hospital said that if the disease showed up in Region 8, their hospital and doctors could handle it.

Infectious Disease Physician, Dr. Steven Stroud said, "It's a hemmoragic fever virus, and there's lots of those, Ebola is not the only one. Certainly it is one of the ones with a higher mortality rate."

Stroud said that the hospital would go by a process if the virus were to showed up and said, "The first thing to do is obviously to immediately put them in isolation both contact and droplet precautions until we can do the further diagnostic work."

Stroud said that the hospital has plans in place from how to handle the patients to where to put them, with a special room set aside just in case the disease, or one that would require isolation, were to show up.

Stroud said, "The room we would use would be a negative pressure room, it keeps the air in that room. So not when someone opens doors and things like that it doesn't get blown out into the rest of the hospital."

Stroud said that after the patients are put into the room they are asked questions about where they have been and the history of what they have been doing in past weeks to find out if there is more of a risk and to figure out what the disease may be to find out if more people had been exposed to it. While

there is a lot going on with the patient at the hospital, Green said there would be even more going on behind the scenes and said, "We'd work closely with them on determining what's the best course of treatment and treatment duration, how long they should be quarantined."

Stroud said that the disease is not as big of a threat here in Region 8 as it is in West Africa by the fact that we have better sanitation here. He said that due to the poor sanitation in West Africa it leads to the disease spreading faster and having a dire effect.  So if the disease were to show up here in Jonesboro, it would be easier to isolate and maintain it.

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