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Medical Monday 8.4.14: Ebola Causing Global Distress

| August 7, 2014


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The World Health Organization reports the death toll continues to rise in Western Africa from the ebola virus. More than 800 people have died in the past week in parts of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Two American aid workers have contracted the disease. One was flown back to the states for treatment. That plane stopped in Bangor to refuel. Shawn Cunningham looks at what risk, if any, that puts on Mainers…plus she has more on what international travelers need to do protect themselves. Here’s this week’s Medical Monday.

Two American aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol contracted the Ebola virus while in Liberia. They’re two of more than a thousand people stricken with the deadly virus. Brantly was flown back to the US over the weekend to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to receive treatment in an isolated hospital wing. Doctors say Brantly is improving. Writebol will arrive in the US sometime on Tuesday to begin her treatment. Two Ebola patients getting treatment on American soil, does it pose a risk to the general piopulation. Health officials say precautions are being taken, but right now no one is at risk.

Jennifer Tweedie is the¬†Mgr. for Infection Prevention at the Aroostook Medical Center and says “the CDC is saying that though there may be isolated cases that we will see from traveling that an outbreak is not in the cards its not what they’re expecting or anticipating.”

Before arriving Atlanta, Brantly’s plane briefly stopped in Bangor to refuel. Does that mean Mainers should be concerned for their health welfare…

Tweedie adds “I believe that they said that no one did get off of the plane in Bangor and all precautions have been made to ensure that the transition of Ebola did not occur.”

The World Health Organization says a unified effort is the way to combat Ebola.

“the Presidents of the three countries recognize the seriousness nature of the Ebola outbreaks in their countries they are determined to take extraordinary measures to stop Ebola in their countries by working together.


“hospital officials say Mainers should not panic about contracting the Ebola virus. They add there should be concern if you’re a consistent international traveler.”

Tweedie further comments “if you have those symptoms and you’ve traveled to that part of the world where this is ongoing then definitely seek some medical attention or if you’ve had close contact with someone whose been to that part of the world than you have a reason to be evaluated.”

She warns if people are planning to travel to the at risk countries right now, she suggests contacting the CDC first to get their recommendation and guidelines for travel.

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Category: Your Health

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