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Oct 1, 2014 9:30 PM

New Hampshire doctors prepared for Ebola


LEBANON - Doctors at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon are preparing for the worst case scenario.

Dr. Brian Marsh, Chief of Infectious Disease said, "It could come to New Hampshire tomorrow, which is why our hospital and other hospitals in the state hopefully are making preparations for that possibility."

While Dr. Marsh says Ebola cases in New Hampshire are unlikely, they are ready.

And with Ebola in Western Africa now the largest Ebola outbreak known in world history, it was inevitable it would make its way to America.

Dr. Marsh said, "The incubation period can be as long as 21 days, meaning from first being exposed to getting sick. Therefore, there can be a lot of opportunity for someone exposed to travel anywhere in the world, so it was undoubted that was going to happen."

Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, Deputy Epidemiologist for New Hampshire's Health and Human Services, said the state has been preparing for some time as well. She said, "There is a great deal of activity going on to educate clinicians, to stockpile materials, to educate those who are returning from West Africa."

With the access to some of the best health facilities in the world, officials say for the general public here in the U.S. there's no need to panic.

Dr. Talbot said, "The images seen on television and through the press are frightening. That is not our situation in the U.S., and there is no, almost no risk of uncontrolled transmission in the U.S. no matter how many patients come back for care.

You can't get it walking down the street next to someone who is infected. It is only spread through close contact and bodily fluids. That's why health care workers are most at risk.

The symptoms include a high fever, feeling extremely ill, bleeding, and low blood pressure.


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