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North Texas Hospitals On Alert Over Ebola Outbreak

Arezow Doost for CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
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FORT WORTH, Texas (CBS 11 NEWS) – North Texas hospitals are on alert because of the Ebola outbreak.

Inside the JPS Hospital Emergency Room in Fort Worth they are screening every patient that walks through the door for Ebola.

“I think to be on high alert and worried about it is definitely a good thing,” says Dr. Adam Jennings Emergency Physician at JPS “I think it’s a good idea for us to really be focusing on it and be prepared for it.”

One of the Ebola patients Dr. Kent Brantly did his residency at JPS several years ago.

The staff there says the news hits close to home.

JPS doctors and nurses say there are specific question they now ask every patient.

“Recent travel outside the U.S. specifically in the last 3 weeks, but we are broadening it all the way out to 6 months to make sure we are catching everyone,” says Dr. Jennings “If you have known exposure to Ebola patient –  you have a fever over 101 or any gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea,  vomiting… diarrhea.”

At nearby North Hills hospital doctors thought they actually had a Ebola patient last week.

“As soon as the patient was brought in they were immediately isolated,” says John Green, Director of ER at North Hills Hospital “They were given just one care giver to further prevent contamination.”

Green says the patient ended up just having the flu, but he says that was enough to change their response.

“Anyone with cough, fever symptoms such as those are immediately asked and taken back to our isolation room,” says Green.

Patients and their families waiting in the ER say the precautions are welcome and necessary.

“Them taking the precautions and all of that it really relives some of that anxiety from it all,” says Rachele Stokes who was waiting at North Hills Hospital with her husband Monday morning “The fact that they are going ahead and taking the precautions even though it’s a slim chance is still very reassuring.”

Several hospitals in Dallas say they have raised awareness among staff and right now they are evaluating to see if any additional measures need to be taken.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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