Gov. Bentley explains Alabama's preparedness for Ebola

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Several Alabama state offices are taking the necessary steps to ensure we are ready if it were to cross state lines.

"In the event Ebola spreads to Alabama, we are ready and we are prepared to respond," Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said.

The first person diagnosed with Ebola in United States has died.

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of patients of with Ebola in Alabama.

"The case in Dallas also confirms that a disease thousands of miles away can very quickly strike home," state Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson said.

A tool kit has been administered to every hospital in the state. It includes a list of certain questions to ask, information on how to protect staff and suggestions for adequate care for patients.

The tool kits have also been distributed to doctor's offices and paramedics to ensure everyone is prepared.

"Ebola can be controlled with basic prevention and infection control procedures. We're talking about gowns, we're talking about gloves, and we're talking about masks, eye goggles or face shields. That sort of infection control precautions," Williamson said.

If college students were to return home from West Africa for the holidays after studying abroad, health officials say they will be under a 21-day fever watch.

"The most important thing is to catch them at the front door," said Patty Miller of Montgomery's Baptist Medical Center South.

Initial symptoms of Ebola are similar to those of the flu. If a patient does exhibit symptoms, the hospital has four hours to notify the state's health department.

To date, nearly 3,400 people in West Africa have died from Ebola.

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