Health officials taking precautions for Ebola in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- There are no Ebola patients in the St. Louis area, but health officials want to be ready in case that changes.

FOX 2’s Anthony Kiekow is live inside of Saint Louis University Hospital with how they are preparing.

Anthony spoke with Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Russ Schroeder about the basic equipment that will be worn by staff members if they were to identify patients who are at risk.

Staff members will wear a face mask, shield, double gloves, and apron in case of splashes or spills.

If the equipment is used appropriately, it should protect the staff and other patients in the facility. They have been trained on how to put it on and take it off.

At least two nurses in Dallas have contracted Ebola. One of those nurses recently flew on a Frontier Airlines jet while she was sick.

Airline officials say that jet didn’t travel to St. Louis. It has been disinfected.

Nevertheless, local health officials are taking the threat seriously.

Ebola has already killed one man, so hospitals across the country are preparing their staff members just in case an Ebola patient is diagnosed.

If that happens, President Obama says a medical team will be sent in to handle the patient.

According to the White House, Ebola spreads primarily through contact with bodily fluids of someone who`s infected. It is not airborne.

Health experts are still working on a vaccine.

The symptoms of Ebola are similar to the flu.

If you any concerns you’re encouraged to contact your doctor.

For additional information visit: slu.edu

Illinois Health officials plan to launch an Ebola hotline later this week.  Hotline operators will answer your questions about Ebola.  The Illinois Health Department says it’s working closely with hospitals and local health departments to provide guidance in case the virus spreads to the state of Illinois.