Phoebe Took Approved Steps regarding Ebola Threat

| October 18, 2014

WALB Photo

WALB Photo

ALBANY — Officials at Albany’s Phoebe Putney Health System, parent to the Phoebe Sumter facility that screened and treated a patient showing symptoms related to the Ebola virus, say they took the right steps to determine risk for the virus.

In an interview with WALB, Chief Medical Officer Steven Kitchen said, “They identified this person of could be a person at risk. They immediately took the person to an isolated section of the hospital. This had already been thought through. They already had a process in place and it simply could not have be done any better.”

The hospital screened the patient by asking him about his travel history and learned, though he hadn’t been to Africa, he had in fact sat next to a passenger who had on a flight to a conference in California.

However, the report stated Phoebe officials never actually tested for Ebola, checking with the Centers for Disease Control and the State Department of Health, who told them he was not at risk for the virus.

Is that enough?

The hospital stated in the report that a patient would have to present multiple risk factors to be tested for Ebola.

“Flu like symptoms, traveled to west Africa and came in contact with anyone with the virus. We would recommend they have a medical evaluation performed and transports to the emergency room and put in an isolation room,” said Steven Kitchen.

Patients who come to Phoebe with flu like symptoms but have not traveled to west Africa, will go through the appropriate medical evaluation based on the symptoms they present.

No one wants a panic, but as we learn more about this threat, knowledge is the key in assessing the real threat to our region, which to this point is very small.


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