Health officials in the Jacksonville area have stated that Jacksonville is ready for Ebola; they feel prepared to identify the disease and the risks, isolate and care for any patients that might be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
The Jacksonville health officials felt the need to respond to a story by the Associated Press that suggested the American health system:
[…] is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system.
Keith Stein, the chief medical officer at the Baptist Health hospital said that an Ebola outbreak in Jacksonville would put a strain on the hospitals, but that Jacksonville is ready for Ebola.
We’re not waiting for the challenge to come to us. I think everybody is preparing very aggressively.
In response to the Associated Press story, many more health officials have spoken out on a possible Ebola outbreak in the Jacksonville area and they assured the population that Jacksonville is ready for Ebola.
Vice chairperson of Hospital Operations at Mayo clinic in Jacksonville, Nancy Dawson, released a statement in which she said that:
Mayo Clinic is prepared to quickly identify, isolate and treat patients suspected of having Ebola virus disease should the need arise. We have ongoing communications and training for our staff to ensure we can care for patients with Ebola, or any infectious disease, safely and appropriately. … Mayo Clinic is actively identifying patients with recent travel to affected regions or with close contact with an Ebola patient and quickly isolating them until Ebola has been ruled out.
The current Ebola outbreak is the largest in the history, killing more people than all the previous Ebola outbreaks combined. Only one out of nine Americans treated inside the U.S. have died of the disease, while in Africa, the situation is much grimmer, the mortality rate being around 60%.
The medical director for disaster preparation from UG Health Jacksonville, Joseph Sabato, shared the struggles with getting the hospital ready for Ebola:
The biggest issue is training and getting everybody ready to deal with this,” he said. “It’s a huge task and very expensive. We have a screening system in place. We can identify that person immediately and isolate that person.