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Orlando Area Hospitals Prepare In Case of Ebola

Eric Alberts, Orlando Health’s corporate manager of emergency preparedness. Photo- Megan Tajudeen, WMFE
Health’s corporate manager of emergency preparedness.

Orlando area hospitals say they are ready to deal with an Ebola case if it surfaces in Central Florida

Governor Rick Scott is asking every Florida hospital provide Ebola protection training and education to all employees.

Orlando Health’s Corporate manager of emergency preparedness Eric Alberts, says the non-profit healthcare network has been preparing since July.

Orlando health has nearly 1800 beds at its facilities which include the Orlando Regional Medical Center and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children

Alberts says they are capable of providing care should a patient be tested positive for the Ebola virus.

“There’s a lot of fear surrounding all this and we hope that people can kind of minimize that fear and change it to respect for this virus and its disease,” says Alberts.

He says training this week at Orlando Health is focused on protective equipment classes.

[caption id="attachment_31402" align="alignnone" width="400"] An Orlando health volunteer demonstrates the kind of gear used by healthcare workers when treating Ebola patients[/caption]

“We have a set amount in certain focus of team members that are coming to our class tomorrow, and these are pretty much trainers and then they are going to be going back and ensuring that our team members have the proper training in the hospitals to handle an Ebola patient,” says Alberts.

He adds the healthcare network is also establishing waste management procedures in case of Ebola.

Meanwhile Florida Hospital says it has a multi-disciplinary team of experts who have volunteered to treat patients infected with Ebola.

The hospital has also contacted experts from Emory Healthcare in Atlanta. Patients treated for Ebola at Emory include Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.

"For months, we have developed specific protocols to screen, identify, and isolate suspected patients with Ebola should they come into one of our facilities," said Florida Hospital’s infection prevention director Dr. Vincent Hsu  in a statement.

"It is important to remember Ebola is only spread through contact with blood or other body fluids," said Hsu.

"With adherence to public health measures, Ebola poses no significant infection risk to the population."