Via CNN.com: 'Training for this': Atlanta hospital ready for opportunity to treat Ebola patients. Click through for the full report and a video. Excerpt:
Ebola is brutal. Those afflicted often bleed uncontrollably, vomit profusely, lose function of their kidneys and other organs, and -- in over half the cases recently in West Africa -- die.
So faced with the prospect of coming face-to-face with this terrible illness at their Atlanta hospital, where its first documented Ebola cases ever are soon set to arrive, what did two nurses do?
They canceled their vacation.
"They said, 'We have been training for this,'" Dr. Bruce Ribner, who heads the Emory University Hospital unit where the two Americans with Ebola will be treated, told CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- himself a neurosurgery professor at Emory. "'We are not going to miss this opportunity to care for this patient.'"
Online and on street corners, in homes and in businesses, the idea of purposefully bringing Ebola into the United States has rattled the nerves of many.
There is lots of evidence of this sentiment on Twitter, where some opined that "we're being very foolish" -- and that's one of the kinder remarks.
"Why willingly bring infected ebola victims to this country?" wrote one woman. "Why purposely spread the infection?"
But you won't hear that kind of thing at Emory University Hospital. According to Ribner, it's been just the opposite.
"As I came in this morning, I had people congratulating us for accepting these patients."
They know how the virus spreads
Yes, Ebola in the United States is unprecedented. But that doesn't mean experts don't know anything about it.
Talking to reporters Friday, Ribner said that Ebola spreads much like HIV, Hepatitis B or C -- through the transmission of bodily fluids, not by simply being in the same room as someone infected.
It's not like someone is contagious the second they are infected. The virus doesn't spread until that person shows symptoms, which typically takes two to 21 days, according to the World Health Organization.
Those working at Emory also can take comfort in that they have a unique place -- one of only four such facilities in the United States, according to Ribner -- to treat such a contagious disease.