Ebola’s in the Northeast: cue unnecessary freakout — here’s how Philly prepared

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A doctor who returned the New York from West Africa after treating Ebola patients has been confirmed to have the deadly disease — cue massive freakout by our neighboring metropolis.

Rest assured: If you haven’t had contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has the disease, you don’t have it. You have allergies.

Philadelphia has taken steps *in case* Ebola makes its way here — here’s what’s been happening:

1. Health clinics in the area say they’re on “high alert” as news has spread of Ebola in Texas and New York. Philadelphia’s Department of Health operates eight public clinics in the city, and there are 28 independent ones scattered throughout.  The city’s issued advisories to those clinics, directing them how and when to solicit travel information from patients.

2. Our hospitals are prepared. Both CHOP and Penn Medicine have said they’re ready to take in patients showing symptoms of the disease.

3. In addition, the Philadelphia International Airport has said it’s prepared to deal with incoming travelers, though there are no direct flights from West Africa that go straight to PHL. The airport has said that it’s not one of five airports designated by the Center for Disease Control as one that needs to perform additional Ebola screenings.

While the airport is prepared for travelers, airline cabin cleaners employed by subcontractors protested Wednesday asking for safer procedures to keep them from being exposed to Ebola.

4. Don’t worry! Our politicians are ON IT. Members of Philadelphia’ congressional delegation were briefed on the city’s preparedness. Officials also held an Ebola summit on Wednesday in which Congressman Chaka Fattah, Patrick Meehan, and Charlie Dent met with local hospital officials to determine the city’s readiness.

5. Annnnnd so is City Council. In mid-October, council heard a presentation from the Health Department on the readiness plan. According to Fox29, the fire department has completed special paramedic training for Ebola cases.

6. What’s all this panic led to? African immigrants in Philadelphia say they’re being overly-scrutinized since the country hit peak freakout.

7. A local doctor told CBS 3 that the NYC case was handled correctly and swiftly — it can serve as a lesson for other large cities. The doctor noticed that he started showing signs of a fever as was quickly transported to Bellevue where medical personnel were ready to handle the sitch.

Bonus: There’s an Ebola song that a Liberian man in Philadelphia is working on.

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