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Chicago Disease Expert: Emory Prepared To Treat Returning Ebola Victims

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Disease Expert: Emory Can Handle Ebola Cases

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(CBS) – Two American aid workers sick with the Ebola virus are being brought back to the United States for treatment at Emory University in Atlanta.

A Chicago doctor is talking about the risks.

Robert Murphy, an infectious disease doctor at Northwestern who oversees a lab that tests for Ebola, tells CBS 2 that Ebola is frightening, but Emory is prepared.

“This thing is not spread by the air, like tuberculosis or SARS,” he says. “So, if they just contain the patient and everyone wears masks, goggles and have gowns it should be OK.”

But Murphy agrees public fears are understandable: “If you get Ebola even under the best conditions, such as at a good hospital here (in the U.S.) it’s about 50-percent survival (rate). Some places in Africa it’s only 10 percent survival. So, you should be nervous if you have contact with the virus.”

Are other cities like Chicago prepared for Ebola?

“It’s probably going to depend city to city. Right now, the immigration people in the United States are looking very closely at anybody who has been in West Africa if they come in looking sick.  They will be immediately quarantined until they can figure it out.  It’s not difficult to make the diagnosis,” Murphy says.