Is Hawaii prepared for Ebola?

(AP Graphic)

The recent death of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan in Dallas has raised questions about the preparedness of US hospitals in the event of an Ebola case.

Duncan was initially sent home before returning to the hospital where he eventually died.

Are Hawaii’s hospitals are ready to deal with Ebola?

The state epidemiologist on Friday reiterated the chances of Ebola coming to Hawaii remain low.

But in the event of a case here she says Hawaii hospitals have been preparing, and she believes they are ready to spring into action.

Dr. Sarah Park says the keys to dealing with Ebola are first to ensure hospitals are properly equipped with the necessary tools to handle the virus.

Perhaps even more important communication and following protocol.

That means making sure everyone at every level of the health care profession is on the same page so that if something were to happen, everyone knows exactly what to do, and who to contact.

“My job is to get them thinking about it and get them to move it terms of drilling and keeping up in terms of awareness factor. Do I think we’re prepared? I think we can handle it,” explained Park.

In addition to hospitals, Park says the Department of Health has also reached out to health care providers, first responders and third party providers to let them know exactly what to do, and who to contact in the event of a suspected case here.

Now while potentially deadly Dr. Park also wants to remind people that Ebola is not easily passed from one to person to another, and that it requires the direct exchange of blood or bodily fluids.

She also wants to remind everyone to wash your hands regularly.

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