What is Ebola?
As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola, also called Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola Virus Disease, is a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. Ebola disease is caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
How is the Ebola virus spread?
The Ebola virus is spread by having direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. A person cannot spread the virus until they are showing symptoms.
How is Orlando Health prepared?
Orlando Health has a well thought thorough Ebola management plan that has been designed by a team of experts. This team is committed to continually monitor and enhance the plan as new information is received by medical and environmental experts.
Trained clinicians treating an Ebola patient will have a team of experts to assist them. Specific education to those team members most likely to treat a patient with a suspected or confirmed case of Ebola has already begun and will continue as the situation evolves.
Are our patients, visitors and staff safe?
Yes, Orlando Health does not have an Ebola patient admitted to any of our hospitals, but for the safety of our caregivers, patients and the community we are proactively preparing in case a patient should present with Ebola Virus Disease. We have taken special measures that would isolate any of these patients immediately, keeping them away from other patients and visitors. Specially trained caregivers would be caring for an Ebola patient and would not be caring for any other patients at the same time.
How can we be sure it won’t spread?
While talk of an Ebola outbreak can be alarming, health officials say the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. is very low. The virus can only be spread by coming in close contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids. Health officials also say the outbreak in West Africa is less of a medical problem and more of a social problem due to lack of education about the disease and how it is spread.
What kind of treatment could be done for an Ebola patient?
Standard treatment is limited to mostly supportive care, maintaining a careful balance of fluids and electrolytes for the patient as well as supporting their breathing and blood pressure. There are some experimental treatments being used, but the effectiveness of these treatments has yet to be determined. More information about Ebola Virus Disease can be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.