Lancaster Hospital prepares for Ebola virus

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A buddy system's in place for the medical team at Lancaster General Hospital, should the Ebola virus make its way into Central Pennsylvania.

There's no cure for Ebola, but doctors and nurses at Lancaster General and prepared to care for patients who could contract the virus.

Dr. Joseph Kontra is the Medical Director of Laboratory Lancaster General Health Physicians Infectious Diseases. He says, "We're confident by remaining up to date with CDC guidelines and recommendations and carefully re-looking at our processes here at the hospital, we'll be able to handle a case should it arise."

Safety starts as soon as a person enters the hospital.

Dr. Deborah Riley is the Chair of the Infection Control Department of Physicians Infectious Diseases. She says, "We have signs that state if you travel to a certain area, Liberia, New Guinea, and have symptoms, please contact a receptionist or someone to let them know you have these symptoms."

Along with patient's safety comes the staff's preparedness. Dr. Riley says the team will follow a buddy system when it comes to putting on the appropriate gowns, goggles and gloves. She says, "Making sure we have the isolation gear put on correctly, also taken off correctly by a buddy system, I'm not just relying on me."

Doctors say if a person tests positive for Ebola, the medical team would change into special suits, and patients would be treated in isolation.

Dr. Kontra says, "Placing these patients in higher level of quarantine with negative pressure room and adjacent anti-room and quarantine off our ICU to all travel."

In Harrisburg, Governor Tom Corbett along with Department of Health Officials announced public safety is the highest priority. The Department of Health has enhanced the Ebola section of its website which includes general information for the public, including virus symptoms. State officials want to assure you the chances of contracting the virus are low. There has been no evidence that this strain of the Ebola virus can spread in any way other than direct contact with an infected person or animal's bodily fluids.