Local hospitals prepare for potential Ebola cases after 1st U.S. diagnosis

Local hospitals prepare for potential Ebola cases after 1st U.S. diagnosis (Image 1)

Hospitals in Middle Tennessee are preparing for possible Ebola cases after a man in Dallas became the first U.S. patient diagnosed with the virus.

Dr. Tom Talbot, Chief Hospital Epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the hospital staff is making sure to identify patients coming in with any infection.

“We’re catching it at the point when they arrive at the facility, putting them in appropriate areas, making sure we wear appropriate protective equipment to care for those patients and making sure we limit any kind of contact with the patients,” Dr. Talbot told News 2.

There are some specific questions doctors are being instructed to ask patients at the time of arrival, such as do they have a fever, any respiratory symptoms and have they traveled recently outside of the Western Hemisphere.

Dr. Talbot told News 2 the hospital had a drill two weeks ago so the staff would know how to respond if a patient tests positive for Ebola.

“I think the chances that we’ll have a transmitted case here in the U.S. is probably pretty unlikely but we may continue to have cases like we’re seeing in Dallas of a traveler that came in,” said Dr. Talbot.

Infected blood or other body fluids can spread Ebola.

The Tennessee Department of Health has stressed the importance of continued preparedness at hospitals and clinics across the state.

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