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Doctors don't want Ebola fear to scare public from emergency room

Posted at 10:08 PM, Oct 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-15 09:33:51-04

Physicians stress the fear and concern surrounding Ebola should not dissuade people in need of emergency care from seeking treatment at the emergency room. 
"Patients transmit infections when they are sick, and they transmit only through direct contact through blood and body fluids," said Dr. Connie Price, chief of infectious diseases at Denver Health.   "It is very unlikely for you to have a risk if you're next to a patient in line, even right next to him."

There are no reported cases in Colorado. 

Health care workers at Denver Health spent the day receiving special training on how to put on and take off protective coverings that would be needed to treat an Ebola patient.

"It helps us, it gets that muscle memory going so we know, when it comes time to do it, we've done it before," said Brian Richard, a registered nurse.

Price says at Denver Health, a protocol is now in place in case a potential Ebola patient comes to the emergency room.

"The first thing that happens is the patient would be escorted to a private room,” she said.   Price adds a special elevator and unit is available to keep the patients away from the general public.

"We're fortunate that we have the infrastructure to accommodate it the way we would like to," she said.

Watch Marc Stewart's report on 7NEWS at 10 p.m.