Two Americans medical professionals, Dr, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, infected with Ebola in Africa will be treated in the United States. This marks the first time the deadly virus has been treated on U.S. soil.
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta announced that it will be treating the two patients and they are currently being evacuated by the State Department for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is currently no cure for this virus, nor is there a vaccine,. The virus kills 70-90 percent of people infected.
The origin of this current outbreak is Liberia and it has now spread to surrounding countries. It is the largest Ebola outbreak in history, killing 700 people, as of this week.
The news of the two patients being transported back to the U.S. has created a major stir with social media as people try to understand why these patients cannot be treated in Africa. There has been news of people protesting on Twitter.
It is understandable that Americans would be concerned. But the chances of someone contracting the disease in the U.S. is quite small. We have state-of-the-art facilities, that are fully equipped to handle this type of situation.
The Ebola virus is not airborne, and cannot be contracted by being in the same room as someone infected. It is transmitted through close contact with the infected individual, through blood, urine or feces. Most often it is contracted by family members who are caring for their sick loved one, or medical professionals who are caring for the patient that has been infected.
Emory University Hospital said in a statement today that they have a separate isolation area for these types of situations and that, “It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country.”
The hospital says its staff is well equipped to handle the incoming patients safely. “Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient,” they have also stated that “For this specially trained staff, these procedures are practiced on a regular basis throughout the year so we are fully prepared for this type of situation.”
The National Institutes of Health announced did announce on Thursday that it will be beginning human tests for an Ebola vaccine.
Onlyanurse.com has received quite a few emails today from nurses in our community that are concerned for their safety. What do you think about this? It certainly does raise concerns, especially if you are in direct contact with these types of patients on a day-to day basis. Tell us what you think in the comment box below.