Ebola outbreak in West Africia concerns PA officials

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U.S. Health Officials have issued their strongest level travel advisory, urging Americans to avoid traveling to the three countries in West Africa dealing with the Ebola outbreak.

The disease is widespread throughout Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

Symptoms of Ebola are similar to the flu, but there is no vaccination or cure.

The World Health Organization says the deadly disease is responsible for 729 deaths and has affected more than 1,300 people.

Two American charity workers with Samaritan’s purse got the disease while caring for Ebola patients in Liberia.

They’re still alive but said to be in grave condition.

According to the World Health Organization the Ebola death toll is the highest on record and still growing.

No one has ever contracted the disease here in the U.S. but preparations are underway as a medical charter brings the two Americans back home.

“We are concerned that because of global travel, Ebola will come to the United States,” says Pennsylvania Physician General, Carrie DeLone.

DeLone says the scary part is not knowing where the disease will strike next because the source of the virus is unknown.

“We need to be vigilant, we don’t need to be fearful,” says DeLone.

Symptoms include nausea, high fever, and body aches.

It’s similar to the flu, but fatal more often.

Standard treatment for Ebola is still limited to supportive care, which requires monitoring patients’ oxygen levels and IV fluids as well as keeping them in isolation.

The World Health Organization says the Ebola virus disease has a 90% fatality rate.

Emory University Hospital officials say at least one of the two Americans infected while caring for patients in Liberia will go to a special isolation unit near the Center for Disease Control.

“We have the capability of putting into effect isolation procedures and having people taken care of by the protocols that the CDC has very carefully developed,” said Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at National Institutes of Health, when asked about what officials would do if an outbreak were to happen in the U.S.