The Ebola outbreak exposed numerous flaws in strategy among federal and international health organizations, but in Georgia, preparations strengthened providers and health infrastructure at the state level, according to the Florida Times-Union.
In Georgia, state officials tracked more than 1,400 people exposed to the virus during the virus' 21-day incubation period. Most of them had returned from a West African country affected by the outbreak to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airports, one of the five airports in the nation designated to accept potentially exposed travelers. Of those travelers, who were met and given instructions at customs, 39 later experienced a situation requiring medical treatment, such as a heart attack or childbirth. During the treatment process, clinicians made sure to take precautions with those patients' blood samples and protect the doctors treating them. None of the patients were infected with the virus.
"We can see from what happened in other parts of the United States that this is not the kind of thing that you just say, 'We'll do what we read in the textbook.' It required deep expertise," Bruce Ribner, M.D., director of the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit at Emory University, told the publication. "This state is lightyears ahead of the other states in the country."
Meanwhile, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that while none of nearly 100 American children suspected of having the virus last year were infected, they experienced routine pediatric care delays due to medical staff's fears of exposure.
Between July of last year and this January, the CDC received 89 calls concerning children suspected of having Ebola. Two of three had never been to an effected country, but in 15 of those cases, the child's healthcare provider mistakenly believed the child was at risk for infection in the United States.