Ebola scare keeps local doctors on watch

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two Americans infected with Ebola in Western Africa are set to return to the U.S., marking the first time ever someone infected with the disease has been on US. soil.

About 90 percent of people die after being infected with the disease, and 700 people have died in this outbreak.

The two Americans infected will be taken to a special unit at Emory Hospital in Atlanta designed to handle diseased like this. Health officials believe containment could stop this outbreak.

Meanwhile, an Austin hospital is making an effort to train regularly against several infectious diseases like Ebola.

“You’ll have a headache, sore throat, your muscles hurt,” said Dr. Coburn Allen at Dell Children’s Medical Center. “And then very rapidly it progresses where your organs begin to shut down you may have bleeding and the unfortunate truth is that a large percentage of the patients that have it will die.”

But Allen says the U.S. is one of the safest places in the world when it comes to diseases. He credits that in part to annual training by hospitals.

“This weekend we’re training here at Dell Children’s,” he added. “We’ve got multiple tents outside to do hazardous material, mass casualty sort of training and when these diseases do come we will be much more prepared than the countries dealing with them right now.”

Allen says with only a 1,000 cases of Ebola ever recorded worldwide, Americans should worry about other dangers closer to home.

“This last year in America we probably had about 100 million people get sick with influenza,” he said. “And many many thousands of patients will die with influenza every year.”

Fortunately, Allen does not anticipate a similar problem with Ebola in the U.S.

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