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New York emergency dispatchers restricted from saying 'Ebola' over radio


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(NaturalNews) Political correctness is now taking over policy-making when it comes to dealing with the Ebola virus in the United States, as evidenced, in part, by a new rule imposed on 911 dispatchers in New York City.

According to reports, dispatchers have now been ordered not to use the word "Ebola" over the radio, and instead have been instructed to use code to indicate that units are responding to potential victims of the deadly virus.

The New York Post reports that a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) memo has instructed all personnel to use the new code language if they have to discuss the virus on the air in any capacity.

"At no point shall a dispatcher transmit over the radio any message containing the word 'Ebola' or related terminology," the advisory, which was obtained by the Post, said.

Instead, dispatchers have been told to use the code letters "F-T," as in "Fever/Traveler," to indicate that a caller to 911 has reported a fever and has a recent history of travel to West Africa, where the current outbreak began and where the virus continues to rage.

"Engine XXX, utilize Universal Precautions -- you are responding to a Fever/Travel incident," dispatchers have been told to say.

One source told the Post that the new policy is meant to diminish fear around the city of any potential outbreak; media and civilian hobbyists monitor NYC's emergency radio channels constantly.

"Just like you can't say bomb on an airplane, we can't say 'Ebola,'" the source told the paper. "Back in the '80s and '90s, taking universal precautions meant someone has AIDS. And we weren't allowed to say AIDS either."

'We are on the front lines of this'

As most Americans know, a Liberian national brought the virus to the U.S. Thomas Eric Duncan flew into Dallas after failing to report to officials in his home country that he had been exposed. Duncan, who died in October, has infected two nurses who cared for him at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

That said, New York City officials say they are confident that first responders will be able to treat any potential outbreak of the deadly virus there. FDNY paramedics who would be responding to any such calls have been instructed to wear polyethylene-coated gowns, as well as gloves and face masks with plastic eye visors, according to emergency response officials.

The Post further reported:

Responders were given a memo laying out a 19-step process for putting on and then safely removing and disposing of their protective gowns and gloves.

"We are the agency on the front lines of this -- 99 percent of the jobs will be handled by us," Israel Miranda, head of New York's EMS union, told the paper.

In addition, FDNY also has 12 elite "Haztec" staffers in each borough assigned to handle suspected Ebola patients who are vomiting, bleeding or experiencing diarrhea, according to sources who spoke to the paper.

Preparations have been made and are in place

The Post said the staffers are each equipped with $2,000 in special protective outerwear. They would provide such patients with transport to pre-selected hospitals. Most would likely go to Bellevue Hospital, where as many as 20 isolation rooms have been set aside.

"We can replicate the same isolation rooms in other hospitals if needed," Dr. Ram Raju, the commissioner of the city's Health and Hospitals Corp., told the paper.

The city's Health Department would test blood samples of any suspected Ebola patients at its lab across the street from Bellevue. Results would be available within six hours, according to Dr. Jay K. Varma, the department's deputy commissioner.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also test blood samples, as a back up, with results available the following day.

Also, the Medical Examiner's Office "will take jurisdiction over any confirmed or suspected Ebola death" in the city, a spokesperson told the Post.

"We have now had about 133 calls since July concerning patients with possible Ebola symptoms," Varma said. "And all 133 are false alarms."





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