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Hopkins Begins Preparations To Manage Potential Ebola Risk

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While the Ebola outbreak appears to be isolated to Africa, there is growing concern it could spread to the US.

Tracey Leong has more on how our hospitals are preparing.

Johns Hopkins Hospital is making the necessary preparations to manage the risk of Ebola, especially for their healthcare providers who would be the first alerted in this situation.

It is the largest documented outbreak of Ebola. Fear of it spreading to Baltimore has Johns Hopkins Hospital on standby.

“A very deadly virus. It’s not inevitable you will die but there is no outright cure at this point,” said Dr. Gabor Kelen, Department of Emergency Medicine.

The fatality rate is as high as 90%. Once infected, a person can pass it on through bodily fluids. They say the likelihood of an Ebola patient coming to their hospital is nearly impossible, but they want to make sure they are ready.

“Even though it’s unlikely, it’s not trivial to play with because the consequences are so huge,” Kelen said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out recommended measures to all hospitals. If they suspect a patient of having Ebola, they need to place them in a single room and isolate them. Plus, the healthcare providers need to wear proper protection, including gloves, a gown and mask. Also, there needs to be environmental infection control, where the area is disinfected of all contamination.

While Dr. Kelen says the virus is serious, the chances of getting it are slim.

“Not something to be worried about. Just carry on your lives as it is at this time,” he said.

Other area hospitals are also taking precautionary measures in the event they have a patient with Ebola.

Health professionals are also telling people to not travel to West Africa in order to avoid the risk of infection.

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