Leaders discuss Ebola preparedness plan

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County leaders and health officials shared their plans to deal with an Ebola patient. The message was, Erie County is prepared to handle an Ebola patient, however there has not been one confirmed case here.

WATCH | In the included video, you will find Tuesday’s press conference on Erie County’s Ebola preparedness plan

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said all hospitals are prepared to identify, evaluate and initially manage anyone who may have the Ebola disease.

If someone comes to a local hospital and it’s determined they have Ebola, they will be transferred to a hospital in Rochester that is designated to care for potential Ebola patients. New York State designated the University of Rochester Medical Center a hospital to treat Ebola patients.

Kaleida Health and the VA Hospital’s Dr. John Sellick, Jr, said hospital staff will be in a new mind set about asking about travel history during the screening process. Staff is being trained to more aggressively screen for Ebola, and even hospital visitors will be asked their travel history.

Leaders and officials stressed we can learn from the mistakes other hospitals have made.Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said western New York is prepared because of the high quality of hospitals and staff in this region.

“We can learn from what happened down there, but I believe we are in much better shape than they were,” Poloncarz said.

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