VCU Medical Center on Ebola threat: 'We're prepared'

Published: Aug. 6, 2014 at 3:58 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2014 at 3:58 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Are we prepared? We talk to the experts at VCU's infectious disease center. They would be at the front lines in the event of an Ebola threat.

You have been lighting up Facebook after the last of two Americans infected with Ebola arrived in America.

"Stupidest thing this country has ever done," said one person on our Facebook page.

"Don't bring them here!" exclaimed another.

Many fear the move is putting millions of others in danger.

"It's scary," said concerned citizen Helen Brennan.

The viral disease has no real treatment, and it's deadly up to 80 percent of the time.

"The likelihood of it actually arriving here at VCU Medical Center is exceeding low," said Dr. Gonzalo Bearman who is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at VCU. "Nevertheless, we want to be properly prepared and we have already assessed our preparedness."

They are serious about Healthcare Infection Prevention at VCU Medical Center.  They have 100 negative pressure rooms that would allow them to isolate sick patients.

"I think the biggest concern is for hospital personnel and hospital patients in the event that we do a have a real case arrive here at VCU Medical Center," said Dr. Bearman.

Dr. Bearman notes even after traveling to an affected region it could take up 21 days for symptoms like muscle aches, joint pains, or a rash to show.

The disease is reportedly only contagious when a person is showing symptoms.

"Which is somewhat reassuring from a public health perspective," said Dr. Bearman. "We are ready. Absolutely. We made the investment in personnel and equipment to take care of any serious cases."

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