CDC releases Ebola checklist, local hospitals prepare

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - On the heels of President Obama's announcement of a major plan to step up U.S. efforts to mitigate the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the CDC released a checklist to ensure U.S. hospitals, big and small, are prepared in case the disease hits home.

"There really isn't a significant risk, but it is best for all healthcare organizations in the U.S. to make sure they are prepared in the event we do see patients," explains Manager of Infection Prevention at the East Alabama Medical Center.

The six page checklist details the best practices for hospitals and healthcare professionals to undergo if they were to treat infected patients.

It suggests all staff members should have buddies to monitor and help train each other, hospitals of all sizes should place greater emphasis on training and even smaller clinics should train employees to deal with media attention.

EAMC says the checklist is similar to the procedures they have in place to treat viruses like MERS or SARS.

"It's a screening question for people who enter our ER, if they've traveled outside the country and are exhibiting signs and symptoms of a respiratory illness, we can put them in isolations as soon as they enter our facility," says Bailey.

President Obama's plan is to send 3,000 troops to West Africa, open 17 treatment centers, and train thousands of healthcare workers to fight the disease.

Even though the threat is low here in the United States, the CDC says quote, "Now is the time to prepare."

"We will feed through it through our infection prevention committee," explains Bailey, "We have key people throughout the hospital that attend the committee and me, as the infection prevention manager, will make sure all out processes are in place and key people who need to be involved will be."

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