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Originally published October 24 2014

CDC worried that NYC may be 'ground zero' for Ebola entry into US

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Ebola has already arrived in the U.S., but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new warning that the disease could soon re-arrive, this time in New York City. Since the Big Apple is a major point of entry for West Africans, the health agency says new cases could emerge there in the coming weeks.

Always late to the game, the CDC is only just now sounding the alarm about the dangers of continued travel to and from West Africa. In a new report, the agency explains that the risk of Ebola spreading through New York City is high, and that more needs to be done to screen potential Ebola cases to avoid a major outbreak.

"New York City (NYC) is a frequent port of entry for travelers from West Africa, a home to communities of West African immigrants who travel back to their home countries, and a home to health care workers who travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients," says the report, entitled "Surveillance and Preparedness for Ebola Virus Disease -- New York City, 2014."

You can view the report in its entirety here:

CDC pushes for increased local preparedness in NYC

So far, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has identified 88 people arriving from Ebola-afflicted nations whom it suspected of having the disease. All of them have since been cleared, but the CDC is still critical of the response time, noting that many health workers are still too afraid to handle potential Ebola specimens.

The agency says the city needs to screen every incoming patient who presents with a fever-related illness, and conduct a full travel history in order to identify all potential contacts. Local health officials also need to make sure that they have all the necessary gear and training in place to handle any positive Ebola cases that may emerge.

"Critical elements highlighted in this report include the development of clear reporting criteria, building and maintaining relationships and preparedness capacity in the local health care system, and rapid, frequent and responsive communication with the health care community and the public to identify and address concerns," adds the report.

New York to continue running fake Ebola drills using crisis actors

Of the 200 total hospitals across New York, eight of them were recently declared by Governor Andrew Cuomo to be especially prepared to deal with the illness, having been successfully prepped in anti-Ebola protocols through special drills using crisis actors.

These "first response" hospitals include:
According to Cuomo, all of New York's hospitals are prepared to deal with Ebola, but these eight are most prepared as a result of the drills. According to CBS New York, the state will continue to run the unannounced drills, which involve having crisis actors pretend that they have Ebola in order to evaluate the emergency response.

"We are trying to get the entire system up to speed, but we are also developing specialized capacity and identifying certain facilities, certain workers where we can," stated Cuomo during a recent press conference.

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