Houston mayor: 'No doubt we will have a case of Ebola'

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- "There is no doubt that we will have a case of Ebola eventually," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Mayor Parker doesn't know when we will get our first case of Ebola but she wants to be prepared now for the day it happens.

"Our expectation is we have to be ready if a Houstonian would present symptoms of the disease," she said.

During Wednesday's city council meeting, the mayor brought in extra help to explain what the city has done thus far in terms of preps.

Houston EMS Director Dr. David Persse.told city council members he has been meeting with the staff of all the Houston area hospitals to let them know what is expected of them and what the city in exchange will do once the hospitals get a case.

"Their non-ill contacts, probably their family members, they become our responsibility so we need to know who they are, know how to contact them, need to interview them to find out whether or not they need to be put in quarantine," Dr. Persse explained.

Six weeks ago, the city conducted drills with the fire department to go over how they should perform if they were in contact with an Ebola patient. And in the next coming days, the city will begin to roll out three protective equipment suits to every fire apparatus.

"We want to be aware and cautious," Mayor Parker said. "We don't want to overreact"

Confident our area hospitals are prepared, Mayor Parker says while it's important to be ready, it's equally important to remain calm.

Remember, you can only get Ebola from bodily fluids when someone is showing signs of illness. And you should only be concerned if you've traveled to the three countries in Africa that are Ebola hot spots, and had exposure to the disease by someone who had visited that region.
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