SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Residents concerned about a patient being tested after possible exposure to Ebola are on high-alert, wondering what risk they’re facing.
Officials say the threat is minimal, but that message gets lost in translation as soon as people hear Ebola is involved.
“It scares me,” said Magdalena Ciurar. “It really scares me.”
She considered canceling her son’s Wednesday morning doctor’s appointment at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center after hearing a patient was being isolated after possible exposure to Ebola.
“It really worried me. I just tried to get out of there as soon as possible,” she said.
Dr. Steve Friend, with U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, says no one should be pushing the panic button.
“Don’t be too concerned unless there’s bodily contact directly with the patient,” he said. “Just walking into the hospital doors, I don’t think there’s any reason for concern at that point.”
The real emergency, medical experts will tell you, has to do with other infections you’re far more likely to get during a hospital visit than Ebola. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 25 patients will acquire some type of infection—most commonly pneumonia and complications from surgery.
Patients at Kaiser South were surprised they didn’t see any public notice about on hospital grounds on Wednesday, but again, there is a delicate balance between informing and causing a panic.