Doctor addresses concerns over Ebola patients - FOX 35 News Orlando

Doctor addresses concerns over Ebola patients

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - As a second patient suffering from Ebola makes her way to Atlanta for treatment, some folks in Georgia are expressing their growing concerns about exposure to the deadly virus. But one of Atlanta's top infectious disease experts insists there is no cause for alarm.

Dr. Robin Dretler has studied infectious diseases more than 30 years, so he is not surprised to hear some Georgians are concerned about the arrival of a second patient with Ebola. But he says those fears can be tempered a bit when you have a better understanding of how Ebola is contracted.

"Ebola is spread by direct contact," said Dr. Robin Dretler.

Dr. Dretler of DeKalb Medical Center says that this is the most important fact when it comes to understanding the Ebola virus. It is a dreadful and deadly disease, but he says you are not going to catch it from casual public contact like at the movies or a grocery store.

"The reality is, this is very close and intimate contact and people are only contagious when they're very sick. So, they're not going to go to the grocery store or the movies at that time. They're are going to be home and sick. So, they are only contagious when they are showing symptoms. It is an abrupt on-set of high fevers, chills, muscle ache. They would not be feeling well enough to go to the grocery store," said Dr. Dretler.

But what are the risks of exposing someone to the disease once someone has recovered?

"There shouldn't be any. Once you've recovered your making antibodies and fighting off the infection. That is why you recovered," said Dretler.

Dr. Dretler is confident physicians at Emory University Hospital will take every necessary precaution to safely treat the two patients who contacted the virus in west Africa and avoid further exposure. He believes the public should embrace and not shun the two patients' opportunities to get top quality treatment here in Atlanta.

"What would you want to happen to your brother, sister, mother, son. These are Americans. They deserve the care that America can give," said Dr. Dretler.

Dr. Dretler says if you have plans to travel to one of the West African nations where the deadly virus is spreading, you should cancel those plans immediately. Otherwise, he says you do run the risk of becoming seriously ill in a place where adequate healthcare will not be accessible.
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