Is Topeka prepared for the Ebola virus?

Ebola Report
Photo Courtesy: MGN Online

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka hospitals are doing all they can to prepare for a possible Ebola patient in the Capital City.

Although there’s no emergency yet, local hospitals want to make sure it doesn’t become one.    

“We’re meeting with the staff almost on a daily basis, and talking about what precautions we would need,”    Nancy Krohe, Infection Preventionist, St. Francis Health. 

Doctors at both Stormont-Vail HealthCare and St. Francis Health have been talking a lot about the Ebola epidemic, and preparing for the possibility of a case showing up here. 

“First thing we have screening questions that we ask right when they come in the door,” Krohe said.    

However what can get tricky is with flu season just around the corner, some patients may be experiencing the same symptoms.  

“The symptoms for Ebola seem to be more gastrointestinal, nausea, vomiting. Whereas, the flu, or influenza is more of a respiratory disease. Although you can have gastrointestinal symptoms along with the respiratory symptoms with influenza,” Nancy Krohe, Infection Preventionist, St. Francis Health.

If a patient comes in with Ebola/ influenza like symptoms, they can get the diagnosis for influenza in just a matter of hours. However Ebola is not as quick, “we would send it to the CDC through the state which could take several days,” Krohe said.    

When we asked Krohe if the hospital would keep the Ebola patient in the Capital City’s hospitals, she said it’s very likely. Although both hospitals have a plan in place, they say preparing for an Ebola patient is an ongoing process.


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