Local Hospital Prepared If Ebola Comes To West Texas - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Local Hospital Prepared If Ebola Comes To West Texas

by Justin Kree
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Medical Center Hospital in Odessa feels they are prepared in the event that Ebola makes its way into West Texas.

"We feel confident in our preparedness. We had a multidisciplinary team brought together to check out preparedness and compliance for control of the spread of Ebola in American hospitals," Johnson said.

The hospital has the proper equipment and medical wear in case the virus were to come to the Permian Basin. The medical staff has had a game plan for few months now.

"Earlier in the summer, we updated and double checked and made sure we were as ready as we thought we were for Ebola," Johnson said.

The first case of Ebola in the U.S. was reported just days ago. Johnson says getting the patient alone and isolated is the first step. Second, tests will be done to rule out any other diseases since the symptoms are flu like.

"It can easily be confused with a number of other diseases. Especially Malaria, which is also extremely common in West Africa," Johnson said

Ebola is transferred through all bodily fluids. Once infected, a limited number of doctors would be around the patient for safety.

"We would then have as few contacts as possible with different health care workers. If one person could do it instead of two, one person would do it," Johnson said.

The virus is spreading rapidly in West Africa because of the health conditions there. But they feel prepared in Odessa.

"These impoverished countries have dirt floors, simple cots. They don't posses laundry services or sanitary sewers. It's different but we feel prepared," Johnson said.
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