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What You Need to Know About The Ebola Virus

Stamford Hospital Doctor addresses disease

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Stamford, CT | Added on August 15, 2014 At 12:55 PM

Since the Ebola virus broke out in March, there's been over 1900 cases and over 1,000 deaths in West Africa. 

The Centers For Disease Control is saying it's the biggest and most complex outbreak -- with cases in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. 

But what do we need to know about it here?  Stamford Hospital's Dr. Michael Parry says residents shouldn't worry.  

"Because it's not airborne, it's contact.  You'd have to be in contact with a person or body fluids of that person or in a hospital processing or handling blood or bodily fluids.  That's how you're at risk of Ebola," said Dr. Parry, director of infectious disease and microbiology at Stamford Hospital.  

However, the hospital is prepared  

"Because of the potential for international travel, whether there's diseases in Africa or the far East.  We have to be prepared to deal with patients who come to our emergency room with any infection," said Dr. Parry.  He said those infections could be influenza, MERS or SARS.

The first step would be asking the patient if and where they've traveled.

"The travel then alerts you to the next series of questions," said Dr. Parry.  

He says if the patient was experiencing Ebola symptoms, like fever, abdominal pain and bleeding, they'd be moved into an isolation room.  

But he says there's no risk here of contracting the disease.

"So in this country, there is no Ebola other than the two cases that were brought in to Emory [Hospital] in Atlanta for management," said Dr. Parry.  "There's no other Ebola.  So there's no risk of catching it."   

Dr. Parry says Stamford's been briefed on what to do if there ever was a patient with Ebola here.  So now in addition to hospital staff, Stamford EMS, fire, health and public safety departments are prepared.  


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