Ebola Outbreak Fears: Could It Hit the USA?
It's the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Now, many are asking: “Could it happen here?”
ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser has visited the stricken region in West Africa and had to wear a protective hazmat suit.
Dr. Besser told INSIDE EDITION, "If someone came to the United States with Ebola and showed up in the emergency room, we have good infection control. They would be put in isolation and the likelihood of other people getting sick would be very small."
See What Else Besser Told INSIDE EDITION About Ebola
Today, the virus has already left 672 people dead and it's 90% fatal.
Dr. Besser said, "Ebola is spread through close contact with someone's body fluids who is infected with Ebola. That is why health care workers who are caring for sick people and family members are at the greatest risk."
Health experts fear Ebola could be carried to the U.S. by airline passengers returning from overseas who don't even know they have it, as depicted in the 2011 movie Contagion.
Ebola is one of the worst deaths imaginable.
Dr. Besser said, "Early symptoms of Ebola look like any other viral illness. It looks like you have the flu. You have a fever, body aches, sweats. Then things go bad. You then develop organ failure."
Two brave American health workers are now fighting for their lives after being infected by the Ebola virus in the West African nation of Liberia.
Thirty-three-year-old physician Kent Brantly is a father of two from Fort Worth, Texas. His wife says: “Kent remains very physically weak but his spirit has been determined throughout this ordeal.”
The other infected American is Nancy Writebol of Charlotte, North Carolina. She's a hygienist who was responsible for decontaminating everyone wearing protective hazmat suits at the hospital—including Dr. Brantly.
Her son was interviewed on the Today show and said, “She's stable. As dad put it, 'She is fighting through it.'"
One U.S. citizen, 40-year-old Patrick Sawyer, has died from the Ebola outbreak. He got sick right before he was planning to fly from Africa to visit his family in Minnesota.
Dr. Besser said, "There is no way to keep out a single isolated case of Ebola. The good news is, if it is going to arrive in the United States, it is not going to spread."