Risk of Ebola transmission in California is low, doctors say

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Doctors say the risk of transmitting the Ebola virus in California is very low. (KFSN)

Doctors are now working to figure out whether a patient in Sacramento has the Ebola virus. The patient considered at a low risk for the Ebola virus is being cared for at a hospital in South Sacramento. Doctors are waiting on test results from a blood sample to figure out if the person who recently came back from West Africa was infected.

"The risk of transmission in California is very low and steps are being taken to keep California safe," said Dr. James Watt with the state's Department of Public Health.

In the Central Valley, people suspected of carrying the virus will be moved into isolation rooms. Christi Paradise works at the infection control coordinator at St. Agnes Medical Center. She says sick patients have flu-like symptoms but if they recently traveled to a West African country, where the death toll is quickly climbing, they're sent into isolation as a precaution. "We would keep them in this room and the door stays shut so that the negative air flow keeps any germs from leaving this room and they go up through a filtered system," said Paradise.

Medical teams often suit up in protective gear around those infected because the virus spreads through bodily fluids. "So that anything that would splash is contained by the eye shield itself," said Paradise.

David Luchini with Fresno County's Department of Public Health says the risk of getting the virus in the Valley is low because there is no cure other than to treat the symptoms so everyone has to be extremely careful. "If you have flu-like symptoms and you have been in those areas those countries that have Ebola, you need to notify your provider," said Luchini.

The Centers for Disease Control says the people who are at the most risk of getting the Ebola virus are people who work in hospitals around infected patients. But health experts say something as simple as washing your hands can keep all of us healthy.

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