Small clusters of Ebola would completely overwhelm US hospitals – AP investigation

Monday, November 3, 2014
By Paul Martin

by: Jonathan Benson
Monday, November 03, 2014

An assessment of the state of American healthcare compiled by The Associated Press (AP) has revealed that the nation is ill-prepared to deal with a large-scale Ebola outbreak. Even if the disease emerged in just small, isolated clusters, the existing medical infrastructure would quickly crumble, claims the press agency, leading to a cascading health crisis.

A team of AP reporters evaluated multiple indicators of preparedness at hospitals, including levels of training, available manpower, funding, emergency room conditions, available supplies, and infection control and protection for health workers. They also interviewed dozens of top experts in the field to gather educated opinions on the matter.

The verdict? Virtually every available resource is currently too limited to handle an infectious disease outbreak, and especially Ebola. Besides the likelihood that many healthcare workers would likely refuse to treat Ebola patients based on its track record of mysterious infections, many hospitals, and especially smaller ones, simply don’t have the infrastructure in place to deal with the virus.

The worst contenders are smaller hospitals, which Dr. Ashish Jha from Harvard University suggests are the least equipped to deal with an Ebola outbreak. Though each hospital is unique, smaller hospitals tend to have less funding and fewer staff, and are usually the least trained when it comes to novel diseases that emerge seemingly out of nowhere, which is the case for Ebola.

HHS says don’t worry, we’ve got things under control

The Rest…HERE

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