Doctor: Ebola virus outbreak not likely, could be treated - - Columbia, South Carolina

Doctor: Ebola virus outbreak not likely, could be treated


As you walk through the emergency rooms doors of Lexington Medical Center, you will immediately encouraged to help fight off passing germs.

Hand sanitizer may be a small line of defense, but ER doctor Todd Crump says the hospital is fully prepared when it comes to fighting infectious diseases.

"Any major hospital in the area can handle patients coming in with using standard precautions, droplet precautions and contact precautions," said Dr. Crump.

As a safeguarding measure, a contact precaution kit is placed on the doors of patients who are suspected of having an infectious disease.

"Appropriate mask with face shield," Crump said regarding the contents of the kit. "Anything you would need."

Infectious diseases like tuberculosis, SARS, and MERS are closely monitored in hospital rooms where doctors are fully protected in gowns. The rooms are also designed to switch to negative pressure meaning the air stays contained in the room.

"As long as the hospital is not full," Crump said, "we can handle them. We may have to bring in extra staff, but we do have the necessary equipment and gowns, gloves, mask, isolation rooms, M95 mask. So, we have the capability to handle any kind of outbreak like that."

As for the Ebola virus, Dr. Crump says it could be treated here. When missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were take to Atlanta, some question why the disease was brought back to the States.

However, Dr. Crump says an outbreak here is not likely.

"They went to Africa to serve others in need," Crump said. "And they went there treating patients with mercy and compassion and I feel like we owe them that same mercy and compassion upon their return."

Ebola is not airborne. It is passed only through bodily fluids.

Right now, there is no cure for Ebola, but there are experimental therapies that Dr. Crump says are promising.

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