If You're Worried About An Ebola Outbreak, You're Not Alone

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

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FISHERSVILLE, Va. (WHSV)-- As reports of Ebola spread, so do fears of an outbreak in the United States.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, nearly half of Americans think it's likely the virus will get into the U.S. population.

"I agree with the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] , that any intensive care unit in the United States should be able to manage these cases," said Dr. Allison Baroco, an infectious diseases physician with Augusta Health.

She's confident there won't be a widespread outbreak. Meanwhile, other positive signs point to a potential Ebola vaccine.

"The hurdle really has been on meeting the human side of the criteria which is to conduct phase one clinical trials and to show that the vaccines and treatments are safe and don't cause diseases in normal healthy humans," said Thomas Geisbert, a virologist at the University of Texas.

The CDC says Ebola is highly-contagious, even though it's passed through bodily fluids, not through the air.

Baroco also said if it does start to spread in the U.S., the health care system here is well prepared to handle it.

"I think we're equipped, though, because the people would be isolated immediately, we would take the appropriate precautions, we would contact the C.D.C. and keep everything controlled and limited to one area," said Baroco.

That's the difference, Baroco says, in the situation in West Africa, and how one could play out in the U.S.

Baroco said concerns over Ebola should remind us to take basic steps to prevent illnesses we're more likely to face, like the flu.

As a reminder, don't forget to wash your hands, and get a flu shot in the fall.

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