Iowa ready if Ebola arrives - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa ready if Ebola arrives

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed thousands and now that someone has been diagnosed in the United States, some are worried. However, health officials here say our health care system is very different and more prepared to handle a disease like Ebola than Africa is.

"Ebola, it's very scary in other countries, especially West Africa, where they don't have the same type of facilities that we do here in the United States, the sanitation processes, the sterilization processes," said Heather Meador, Linn County Public Health Nurse.

Ebola symptoms include fever, muscle pain, vomiting, and bleeding. It is spread through bodily fluids, not through the air.

If someone was diagnosed with Ebola here in Iowa, hospitals would use the plans they have to prevent the spread of any infectious disease.

"Anyone that has an infection that can easily spread to others, there's going to be restrictions and there's going to be special isolation procedures that are followed," said Meador.

In Linn County, the Public Health Department and the two Cedar Rapids hospitals have been in close contact to make sure they have a plan just in case there is a diagnosed case of Ebola here.

"Making sure that we have the most up-to-date information to keep that patient healthy and to keep everyone around them healthy, too, including those health care workers that are taking care of that patient," said Meador.
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