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UPMC Prepared To Care For Ebola Patients

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

david_highfield David Highfield
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CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A second American aid worker infected with Ebola has arrived in the United States.

She was brought to Atlanta where she and another patient are being treated in an isolation unit at Emory University Hospital.

Experts say the chance of a significant Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is extremely low, but if it does happen, Pittsburgh hospitals say they are prepared.

The outbreak in West Africa is alarming. The virus is spreading faster than governments can contain it. Nearly 900 people have died so far.

Even though that’s far away from Pittsburgh, health experts here say they’re ready if they have a case.

At UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Oakland they showed off one of their negative pressure rooms where they would take an Ebola patient.

The air is exchanged 12 times an hour, and the air exhausted is filtered out so nothing is spread to the rest of the hospital.

Even though Ebola is not spread through air, they don’t want to take any chances.

Also, staff treating the patient would wear shoe and leg covers, gowns which fluid can’t get through, a face shield that filters out bacteria and viruses, as well as double gloves, which have been tested to make sure they won’t tear.

“The organism is transmitted with blood or body fluid, and so that means you pretty much have to come in contact with the blood or body fluid, which is why we have her completely covered so that blood could not be exposed to her skin and get into her skin and then ultimately infect her,” said Carlene Muto, of UPMC Infection Prevention.

They also have procedures in place to dispose of that gear so no one will come in contact with it.

As scary as Ebola sounds, Muto says the regular disinfectant they already use in the hospital will kill the virus.

RELATED LINKS:
CBS News’ Coverage of the Ebola Outbreak
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More Reports by David Highfield

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