Ebola Preparedness

In Texas, the first death from Ebola occurred in the US this week.  A man who had just returned from Liberia went to a hospital for help.  Now, at least one Dallas nurse has contracted Ebola from the event.  Doctors are monitoring her and other hospital staff who cared for the original patient.

On Monday, Dr. Kent Brantly donated blood to the nurse.  Brantly is a doctor who contracted Ebola and returned to the US, receiving an experimental treatment that eliminated Ebola from his system.  Doctors hope his antibodies can help the nurse recover. By Tuesday, she was reportedly in good condition.

The Ebola virus is rapidly spreading in West Africa.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is emphasizing that the world take action in the next 60 days to treat the outbreak as a crisis before it is out of control.  Symptoms include fever, bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhea.  It spreads through direct contact of bodily fluids like blood or saliva. 

In the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with the Dallas hospital to help contain the virus.  They are also working with hospitals across the nation, such as Harborview Medical Center, to develop plans to identify and manage patients who could be infected with Ebola.  The CDC says the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the US is very low.