E. Texas hospital puts Ebola action plan in place

E. Texas hospital puts Ebola action plan in place
The CDC recommends staff members have a buddy to help keep their hygiene in check.
The CDC recommends staff members have a buddy to help keep their hygiene in check.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas hospital is on high alert when it comes to preparing for the possibility of the Ebola virus in East Texas.

"We are screening the patients that enter out triage area in the emergency room for any visitation to South African coastal countries where Ebola virus has been identified," said Amy Beasley, director of infections at Mother Frances Hospital.

Beasley says the hospital has an emergency management team that will get called into action if a case is reported as it's not entirely out of the question that the Ebola virus could make its way here.

"It's rare but it does happen. We have missionaries that go across all the time so we do screen," said Beasley.

If a case is reported, the patient will undergo testing and be placed in an airborne isolation room.

Net-Health Director of Public Health Russell Hopkins says the outbreak in West Africa has had a devastating impact on healthcare workers.

The CDC recommends staff members have a buddy to help keep their hygiene in check.

"They come into contact without any protective gear and that person infects the health care worker," Hopkins said.

But the preparedness doesn't stop there, the CDC says hospitals should have protective suits, gloves and goggles on hand to prepare for a patient with Ebola.

Mother Frances has about 200 of those items.

"This is something we have not seen before, and so we are just taking the best protective precautions not only for our patients but for our staff," Beasley said.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.