Memorial Handles “Ebola” Scare

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – There was no panic, and the emergency room at Chattanooga’s Memorial Hospital was never on lock-down this morning.
Rumors and misinformation were spread on twitter and email after a man was transported from Rhea county with symptoms similar to those suffered by ebola patients.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when Memorial Hospital staged a day-long exercise on how to deal with a case of ebola?
That work paid off when a call came in from Rhea county ambulance service that they were on the way with a possible ebola patient.

MAYOR GARY LUALLEN, DAYTON, TN. "Rhea ambulance service was called out to a gentleman who had a fever. And they took precautions to take him on to Memorial hospital and I think the fact they did not stop at Rhea county hospital..they took procedure..they put on their masks, dressed up and took precautions for the worst which turned out to be nothing."

The man told the EMS team he had been with a relative that was sick and had been to Liberia. That news put the E.R. Team on alert They were ready when the ambulance arrived about noon. But, it didn’t take long to diagnose the case—the common flu, not ebola.

DR. MARK ANDERSON, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST "The time frame we heard…seemed too long..that the relative had gotten sick after 5 or 6 weeks after being in Liberia which would be too long."

Dr. Anderson says the incident turned out to be a good thing.

DR. MARK ANDERSON "We were already planning you know drills and training and things like that ..This gave us an opportunity to do that."

A full-fledged ebola outbreak is not likely in this country according to Dr. Anderson.

DR. MARK ANDERSON "We have much better infrastructure…we have a great public health system,that can quickly be brought into play to track down contact help quarantine them. People who get sick we can put them into isolation rooms."

Local healthcare facilities expect to see more these quick response incidents as the world keeps a wary eye on the ebola outbreak in Africa.

Dr Anderson says getting good information also helps make a quick diagnosis.
In this case, after talking with the man’s family, he found out no one he knew had ever been in Liberia.
They just knew someone who was building a church there.

Categories: Consumer News, Health, Local News

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