UIHC ready to treat Ebola patients if needed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UIHC ready to treat Ebola patients if needed

Posted: Updated:
IOWA CITY (KWWL) - More than 1,200 people have died as the deadliest ever outbreak of Ebola takes hold in West Africa, but fear is spreading even more quickly than the virus itself.

From eastern Iowa, the Ebola outbreak seems far away and highly unlikely, but medical staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics say they are taking no chances.

Dr. Loreen Herwaldt, epidemiologist at UIHC says they are constantly briefed on the outbreak's latest and looking at their preparedness plan.

The hospital has had a bio emergency plan in place for several years, and every time a new outbreak begins to spread they go back to the drawing board.

"We have had for years a bio emergency plan," said Herwaldt. "So every time one of these new organisms comes up that could potentially be a threat we look at that plan and then adjust it."

She says the only approved treatment for the virus is primarily supportive, like fluids for low blood pressure and medication to bring their blood pressure up.  
Herwaldt tells us the virus is only spread through bodily fluids.

"Student Health already has a list of students who are coming from that area," said Herwaldt.

She says they're reached out to students in the outbreak area, and given them specific instructions.

"We're making all the essential plans in case we would have to screen a patient or in case we would have to take care of a patient who had Ebola," said Herwaldt.

Herwaldt says if they do have to treat a patient with the virus, which is highly unlikely, they do have screening tools, isolated places of care,  and protective equipment for medical staff.
Powered by Frankly