Published on October 14, 2014

Local hospitals prepare for Ebola

After Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola last week in Dallas, hospitals throughout the country started beefing up their preps.

They say if and when the first case makes it to Florida, they'll be ready.

"We're meeting on a daily basis and actually going over all our procedures now and looking at everything we do," said Dr. Katherine Considine, an emergency medicine doctor.

The CDC requires potential patients to wear a gown and be quarantined, but St. Vincent's is going beyond that.

"This suit is a full suit including the boots and the gloves," said Brad Turner, an assistant nurse manager.

We wanted to know what it would be like if I had recently traveled and walked in with Ebola-like symptoms, so they showed Action News the procedure.

The process is extensive. First, you'd be placed in a hazmat suit, given two pairs of gloves, then covered with a mask and face shield.

If someone were to walk through the door exhibiting Ebola-like symptoms, St. Vincent's would isolate them with protective gear.

Nurses and staff would wear the same gear. Once wrapped up, patients would then be taken to a room with no air vents.

To help folks identify whether or not they're high risk, signs with symptoms are posted around the hospital. It's one step of many.

"I think we were verbally doing it before -- just in case to jog people's memories."

Ebola symptoms are very similar to the flu and malaria and include headache, fever, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. St. Vincent's told Action News the extra warning sign they're looking for is recent international travel or contact with someone who's been abroad.

St. Vincent’s says they been preparing for Ebola since August.