Fri | Oct 19, 2018

... Health providers expand precautions

Published:Wednesday | October 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM

NEW YORK (AP): Public hospitals in New York City are concerned enough about Ebola that they've secretly been sending actors with mock symptoms into emergency rooms to test how well the triage staffs identify and isolate possible cases.

A small hospital in the Ohio countryside has hung up signs imploring patients to let nurses know immediately if they have travelled recently to West Africa.

And across the US, one of the nation's largest ambulance companies has put together step-by-step instructions on how to wrap the interior of a rig with plastic sheeting while transporting a patient.

There hasn't been a single confirmed case of someone being infected with Ebola on US soil. The one confirmed case here involves a man who contracted the virus overseas. But health-care providers are worried enough that they are taking a wide variety of precautions.

It isn't yet clear whether those preparations are overkill or not nearly enough. But medical officials and health experts say that, at the very least, the scare is giving them a chance to reinforce and test infection-control procedures.

"The attention has been, in a sad way, very helpful," said Dr Richard Wenzel, an epidemiologist at Virginia Commonwealth University and a former president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.