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Bay Area Procedures Already In Place; CDC Urges U.S. Hospitals To Look For Ebola Symptoms

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday urged all hospitals across the U.S. to be on the lookout for patients with Ebola-like symptoms in the wake of a Dallas, Texas nurse contracting the deadly virus and key airports ramp-up security screenings.

Meanwhile, the Bay Area is already implementing strict procedures. Amy Nichols, Director of Infection Control at UCSF said hospital workers are regularly trained in infection prevention.

"They're the same strategies that were in place in the early '80s when HIV came on the scene. As a matter of fact that's what drove many of these strategies. They work when they're done correctly," she said.

Ebola patients aren't contagious until they start displaying symptoms so it's critical that if hospitals start seeing people with flu-like symptoms who have either traveled to or been in contact with someone in an Ebola infected area, they let officials know.

Passengers coming from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are having their temperatures taken at five major U.S. airports, but none are in California.

Bay Area Procedures Already In Place; CDC Urges U.S. Hospitals To Look For Ebola Symptoms

Andrew Thomas, founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Transportation Security, said no amount of screening or questioning will be 100-percent effective.

He said as the procedures get rolled out this week, we should look for how well U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is integrating with the airline industry and public health agencies, particularly in Western Europe.

"This whole notion that there's one big database that shows us who's flying at any given moment…that's not really the case."


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