MANHASSET, NY – The death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed in the U.S. with Ebola, is a reminder that this disease can be deadly and why so many places are taking special precautions to prevent the potential spread of the deadly virus.
“In terms of predicting the likelihood of [the Ebola virus] occurring here in the New York area, I think we’re all extremely hopeful that we don’t see any cases,” says David Hirschwerk, MD, attending infectious disease physician at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. “But from the standpoint of what our health system is doing, I think that we are in a good position to protect our patients.”
The risk of death after becoming infected with the Ebola virus is real – it’s about 70 percent, Dr. Hirschwerk says – but each person’s response to the virus is different.
“There are experimental antiviral medications that have been used on some individuals who have been infected, but really it is supportive care,” Dr. Hirschwerk says about the treatment for the Ebola virus.