First responders attend Ebola training in Camden County

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- On Thursday, first responders in Camden County went over their plans for treating Ebola patients.

The hope is we won't see cases in our area, but all health care workers have to be prepared so they know what to expect and how to respond if they come in contact with someone who may have Ebola.

Experts from Cooper Health and Camden County Health Department lead Ebola training for first responders, how to screen for the virus, and what to do if someone in the county is suspected of having it.

The training also included a demonstration on donning personal protective equipment.

In Camden County, if a case is deemed to be high-risk suspected Ebola, meaning the patient may be vomiting or bleeding and have other Ebola symptoms and recent travel to an affected country, then the hazmat team is called.

It takes several responders to help dress one person, covering all exposed skin.

There is no Ebola in our area, but Infectious Disease doctor Henry Fraimow says preparing first responders is vital.

"Because these are people who may come in contact with these patients first. The better informed you are, the better you can both protect yourself and make sure you do your job appropriately," Fraimow said.

As for if we'll see more cases in the US, Dr. Fraimow says the risk of an ongoing outbreak here is minimal, but sporadic cases like Thomas Duncan in Dallas are likely.

"As long as the epidemic rages in Africa there will be an ongoing threat to other countries," Fraimow said.

The training Thursday was not a one-time deal. Action News is told any health care worker in the county who may respond to a suspected Ebola case or treat a patient will continue to do training to keep their skills fresh.
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