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More communication key to Ebola response, says Pa. expert

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Photo by (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

(Harrisburg) — Ebola has infected a single person from Liberia who traveled to Texas, but Pennsylvania health officials aren’t leaving anything to chance. First, they’re reminding doctors and hospitals of the importance in communicating with others.

Dr. Carrie DeLone, Pennsylvania’s Physician General, says one key piece of information can help medical professionals figure out whether a patient has Ebola or not.

“We have enhanced our communications with health care facilities, health care providers to make sure everyone understands how imperative it is to get a travel history.”

Now, that’s only if a patient shows symptoms, like a fever above one hundred and one and a half, diarrhea, weakness or vomiting.

The federal Centers for Disease Control says symptoms typically show up 8 to 10 days after exposure to Ebola, but it could take up to 3 weeks for the virus to appear.

DeLone says hospitals already know to isolate a patient if they are exhibiting Ebola symptoms.

She also says Pennsylvania is prepared, thanks to a quarantine station operated by the CDC in Philadelphia.

“We have the CDC quarantine stations at the Philadelphia airport. We have policies and procedures at hospitals regarding anyone who has an infectious disease,” say DeLone.

Experts say there’s little evidence Ebola would make it to the midstate from Texas, but preparation is helpful in the event it does.

A reminder: Ebola spreads through making contact with bodily fluids.

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