Doctor: NHRMC prepared for Ebola threat

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Ebola. The word itself is enough to strike fear into many people’s minds. For those who work in health care, it raises the bar even more.

Dory Johnson is just one of the health care workers at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

“I have a healthy concern, but we are prepared,” Johnson said.

Dr. Paul Kamitsuka is the infectious disease specialist for the hospital.

“It’s a disease that hasn’t been treated in the United States. Any disease that carries a potential for up to 70 percent mortality understandably generates a lot of fear,” Dr. Kamitsuka said. “The reality, though, is we’ve had one person in the United State succumb to the illness.”

The doctor says, however, NHRMC is ready with protective gear and rooms specifically designed so that what’s inside the room says inside.

Even with those precautions in Dallas, a nurse still managed to get the virus.

“The takeaway for us is that we want to be extra careful,” Dr. Kamitsuka said.

He says the likelihood of getting Ebola is slim to none.

“Far more people are going to succumb to influenza than Ebola. This is not a reason to panic,” Dr. Kamitsuka said.

For health care workers like Johnson, while they remain vigilant, she said that is not her priority. Her priority is the people she cares for.

“It’s what I do,” Johnson said. “It’s what I got into nursing for: to take care of patients.”

Categories: New Hanover

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