PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mistakes surrounding the United States’ first Ebola case has been well documented.
A hospital in Dallas first sent the patient home with antibiotics, knowing he had come from West Africa.
He was admitted with clear Ebola symptoms two days later.
Those two days gave him the opportunity to possibly spread the virus; 100 people are now being monitored.
The Allegheny County Health Department is using that mistake as a way to educate medical professionals here, especially the critical importance of exploring a patient’s travel history.
“We have, over the course of the last few days, been communicating with all of the hospitals in Allegheny County to refresh their memories of the protocols of the CDC. Which, one is to take this travel history,” said Dr. Karen Hacker, the director of the Allegheny County Health Department.
During a taping of the KD/PG Sunday Edition, we discussed what specifically is happening here in Pittsburgh to prepare for the possibility of Ebola.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, of UPMC Center for Health Security, talked about what is taking place at UPMC hospitals.
“If a patient presents from a country where the patient may be exposed, we have a whole protocol from when the patient arrives, through his stay, how we are going screen, isolate, test, who we’re going to communicate with,” said Dr. Adalja.
The Health Department also says it’s making sure everyone knows what to do, including urgent care centers, doctors’ offices, hospitals, EMS and even the airport.
“The message here is we need to get in touch with everyone who may have contact with the patient to make sure they understand what those protocols are,” Dr. Hacker said.
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