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FL Hospitals Prepare, React to Ebola Scare

Jacksonville’s Baptist Medical Center initiated federal Ebola protocols on Monday after a patient who reported recent contact with a West African traveler was admitted with flu-like symptoms, according to the Florida Times-Union.

After a full screening, the case turned out to be a false alarm, the Times-Union reports.

Other Florida hospitals are also making sure they’re prepared. Tampa General Hospital already has a protocol in place, including protective suits for staff and special air handling units in designated exam and hospital rooms, The Tampa Tribune reports.

If a patient checks in to Tampa General with Ebola-like symptoms, they will immediately be isolated in one of these designated rooms, The Tribune reports.

The Florida Department of Health has also put a system in place to provide Ebola “readiness kits” to requesting hospitals to supplement their existing supplies, according to a news release. These packages consist of personal protective equipment, disposable patient care supplies, and instructions on how to properly use the equipment safely.

Meanwhile, a Sarasota-based pharmaceutical company announced it is working on a new molecular structure that could effectively treat Ebola and help contain the spread of infectious disease, according to the Miami Herald.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.