Fresno County prepares for Ebola

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's estimated about 150 passengers from the three West African countries, Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone, where Ebola is a problem come to the United States every day.

Flights from those countries arrive at five different airports, in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC Chicago and Atlanta. Passengers with potential exposures will be screened at those airports first.

"Right now the CDC is notifying all the state health departments of anybody whose flights arrive from those three nations right now," said Dr. Ken Bird. "They notify the state health departments and they notify the local jurisdictions."

Fresno County's Interim Health Officer, Dr. Ken Bird says, "If the passenger is okay to travel, and comes to say, Fresno, further screening will take place.

Dr. Ken Bird said, "Patients with possible exposure will be classified according to the four different levels of risk of exposure and we will monitor them twice a day and possibly restrict activities depending on their level of exposure, risk of exposure."

If they develop the disease, specially equipped ambulances are already available to transport the patient to one of the five University of California Hospitals.

Dr. Bird notes the risk of Ebola in the Central Valley is remote, and said even being on an airplane with somebody who's been exposed shouldn't be a major concern.

"Unless I had seen nobody vomiting or having diarrhea or bleeding on that plane I don't think I would be very worried," explained Dr. Ken Bird.

There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California, but 19 people who had travelled to West Africa are being monitored.

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