WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- With two Ebola cases coming back to the states, some people are fearing for their own safety. But, infectious disease expert Dr. Christopher Ohl from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center said no one needs to worry. The two American missionaries who got Ebola in West Africa are on their way back to the U.S. for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Dr. Ohl said those patients are not a threat to your health.
He answered the following questions for WFMY News 2 reporter Emily Spain:
Q - Why bring the patients with Ebola back to the United States?
A - "Your chances of survival are going to be higher here. Our intensive care units are better, our resources are better and our medical care is better and there is absolutely no reason not to have them come back."
Q - Since these patients are coming home, are our hospitals prepared to handle the Ebola virus?
A - "The virus is easy to contain using standard infection control measures. Here in the united states we're used to using those procedures. We have the resources and we have the materials to do it."
Q - What does this mean for me? Should I be scared of getting Ebola?
A - "The fear is exaggerated, it's overblown and the risk to the general public is basically zero, it's none."
Even the doctor who will have direct contact with the patients at Emory University Hospital said he's not concerned.
""I will be one of the individuals who will be coming into direct contact with the patients. And again based on our experience, policies, procedures I have very little to, I have no concerns about either my personal health or the health of the other healthcare workers who will be working in that unit," Dr. Bruce Ribner said.
President Obama also answered questions Friday during a news conference about what the U.S. is doing to help with the outbreak in West Africa. He said the country is working with the CDC, World Health Organization and partner countries to get resources to the nations battling Ebola.
"To make sure that we can surge some resources down there and organization to these countries that are pretty poor and don't have a strong public health infrastructure, so that we can start containing the problem," Obama said.
There have been more than 1,000 cases of Ebola in West Africa and more than 700 people have died from the virus. The first American patient with Ebola should arrive in Atlanta in the next few days.
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