Local hospitals prepare for Ebola if it spreads to our state - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local hospitals prepare for Ebola if it spreads to our state

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Ebola has only been confirmed in Dallas, but local health officials say they're prepared if it spreads to Wisconsin.

Wednesday, Marshfield Clinic sent out a clinic wide memo detailing virus symptoms and the process of treating a potential Ebola patient.

Officials at Aspirus Hospital say they have been ready for Ebola for several weeks.

"We've been prepared from the Center of Disease Control, from state health department, " says Anna Marciniak, an infection control coordinator at Aspirus.

Marathon County health officials say local hospitals are equipped to handle the serious infectious disease.

If a patient is at risk of contracting the virus, the patient will be quarantined in a secured hospital room.

Although the virus has only been diagnosed in Texas, officials say the disease could spread to Wisconsin.

"We're only separated by a plane ride from disease outbreaks," says Ruth Marx of the Marathon County Health Department.

But being in the same room as an infected person should not be a concern. The virus is not airborne. Ebola spreads through bodily fluids.

Ebola has killed thousands of people in Africa. Local health workers say the United States should not fear a similar epidemic.

"The hospital systems in the United States are vastly different from those in Western Africa," says Marx.

Health care officials say talking to healthcare provider is the best way to prevent the disease. They say it's important to tell doctors if you've traveled from Western Africa recently.

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