Hospitals in RI, Mass. on lookout for Ebola

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Despite the low risk of Ebola spreading in the United States, hospitals in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are training staff to be on the lookout for warning signs.

Hundreds of people have died in Africa in recent months in what’s being called the biggest Ebola outbreak on record.

Eyewitness News asked doctors at Rhode Island Hospital exactly what precautions they are taking.

“Nurses ask everyone who comes in – every person – about their travel history,” said Dr. Selim Suner, Rhode Island Hospital emergency medicine. “That’s very important because if someone comes in and they have a history of traveling to Africa within the last three weeks and they have a fever then that person would be immediately be put in an isolation room.”

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control issued a mid-level travel advisory for health workers after two American aid workers in Liberia contracted the virus.

Symptoms of Ebola can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, patients can bleed internally and from their  eyes and/or mouth.

There is no treatment for Ebola – which can kill up to 90 percent of victims – but doctors can use therapies to help support the body while it fights off the virus.

The local Liberian community will be hosting a town hall meeting Sunday to discuss other ways to help West Africa. It’s scheduled for 5 p.m. at 807 Broad Street in Providence. For more information call Kormasa Amos at (401) 714-7952.


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