WPB health care workers worried about Ebola - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

WPB health care workers worried about Ebola

By Katie Johnson

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Karen Boyler is a registered nurse at St. Mary's Medical Center. She's treated patients with a variety of infectious diseases, including Hepatitis, HIV, and MRSA. But she's never treated someone with Ebola, and she's afraid of it spreading to more health care professionals. "Made me a little bit nervous to find out that someone in my health care profession came down with the disease," says Boyler.

Over the weekend, news broke that Nina Pham, a Texas nurse, contracted Ebola while treating Thomas Duncan. Duncan died last week of the deadly virus. There's no telling yet how exactly Pham got infected, but the CDC is investigating.

"Maybe secretions--blood-- was on the IV pole, maybe the glove wasn't taken off properly and she could've touched something infectious in nature," says Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi, an infectious disease doctor who practices at St. Mary's Medical Center.

Dr. Osiyemi says new plans have been put in place at the hospital to make sure team members are ready if an Ebola case came to South Florida. "We've done lectures on how to properly wear your protective garments, we've done simulation on how to move a patient from point A to point B without exposing anyone else in the hospital," the doctor says.

He explains that there is a specific team of people who would respond to an Ebola case. This way, a smaller number of people would be exposed to the patient. That patient would be put in an isolation room, so they don't expose other patients and staff to the infection.
Dr. Osiyemi says taff are also constantly trained on how to respond to an Ebola case, so they're always ready in case one arrives in the ER.

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