Despite small risk, Long Island hospitals make Ebola virus preparations

North Shore LIJ in New Hyde Park says

North Shore LIJ in New Hyde Park says it is ready if a case were to come to its hospital. Officials at the hospital say nurses are trained to ask specific questions to patients when they come to the emergency room. If that nurse determines the patient is at risk of having the deadly disease, they are quickly quarantined from the rest of the hospital patients. (Credit: News 12)

WOODBURY - Even though health officials say the threat of contracting the Ebola virus remains small for Americans, hospitals across Long Island are preparing for possible cases.

North Shore LIJ in New Hyde Park says it is ready if a case were to come to its hospital. Officials at the hospital say nurses are trained to ask specific questions to patients when they come to the emergency room. If that nurse determines the patient is at risk of having the deadly disease, they are quickly quarantined from the rest of the hospital patients.

Doctors say a vaccum seal room is not necessary for Ebola because it's not airborne and is spread only through contact with bodily fluids.

“Although the Ebola [threat] is new, the idea of universal precautions is not,” said Dr. Salvatore Prado, of LIJ Emergency Services.

Nassau County officials told News 12 the Department of Health is updating the state DOH about any new developments. They say there is no current risk for Nassau residents.

Two American heath care workers recently tested positive for the Ebola virus after spending time in West Africa. Another patient has been tested at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Doctors say it is unlikely that the man has Ebola, despite his time spent in West Africa.

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