PHC’s Dr. Elting appeared on News Channel 8 Monday with Bruce Depuyt to discuss Ebola virus. Depuyt asked Dr. Elting, an infectious disease specialist, for insight into the virus and the pair of American patients who just arrived in the United States for treatment.
From the broadcast:
We begin this time with the latest on the Ebola crisis in Africa. A new report just out overnight finds 826 people have died from the virus. There’s been a surge of cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The American doctor suffering from Ebola is now being treated in a Georgia hospital and a colleague is on her way home.
Joining us now is Dr. Jeffrey Elting. Dr. Elting is the Medical Director of the Presidential Healthcare Center in the district. Before taking his current position, he coordinated bioterrorism responses for the DC Hospital Association.
“It’s a hemorrhagic fever virus,” Dr. Elting said. “There have been over 40 outbreaks over the last 40 years, mostly in Africa, and with that comes a high death rate.”
“You have to take into account that, in some of those areas, they don’t have the assets to provide the correct isolation and the correct care.”
Dr. Elting spoke on the treatment the two American patients– Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol– will receive at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. He also answered questions from viewers calling into the show.
“It’s transmitted by bodily fluids. It’s not transmitted by respiratory droplets like the flu or a cold,” Dr. Elting said. “Once a person gets infected, there’s an incubation period between the time they get exposed to the time they actually have symptoms. That can range anywhere from two to 21 days.”
“The initial symptoms are somewhat flu-like. They get muscle aches, headaches, fever, don’t feel well, they have vomiting. But it is a hemorrhagic virus. It causes hemorrhaging, in which case you’ll get things like bleeding into your eyes, bleeding into your lungs, bleeding into your internal organs. Generally, that’s what your cause of death is.”