First responders have infectious disease protocols in place

First responders have infectious disease protocols in place

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona health experts say the risk of having a case of ebola in the state are very small; despite that low risk local emergency medical services have been trained and are ready to handle whatever comes their way.

Procedures are in place so that when someone calls 911 stating they have some type of illness, the dispatcher has three specific questions to ask they patient.

'Do you have a fever?' 'Do you have flu-like symptoms?' and 'Do you have a communicable disease?'

Tucson Fire officials have said these questions allow paramedics to have some idea of what they will be facing.  Captain Barrett Baker said Tucson Fire and other local fire departments are trained to deal with infectious diseases, like hepatitis, tuberculosis and measles and though ebola is more deadly, the protocol for protecting first responders is the same.

If a serious infectious disease is suspected, say ebola for example, EMS would coordinate with the hospital to put the patient in an isolation room, while more information is gathered.

For those who feel like they have some type of severe illness, call a doctor or 911.

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