CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The president and CEO of the West Virginia Hospital Association, following a conference call Friday with the Centers for Disease Control, said the state’s healthcare workers are prepared in case a Ebola epidemic hits the U.S.

“We treat patients every day. We are ready to take in patients that appear before us, present with different symptoms,” said Joe Letnaunchyn. “The hospitals will apply their procedures and protocols in dealing with those patients.”

Doctors and nurses across the state have received the latest updates on the Ebola virus and how to protect themselves. It’s not much different from how hospitals train staffers to handle all sorts of medical conditions.

“I don’t want to make light of it and say this is not new but we’re constantly testing and screening patients for different symptoms and then we move into action based on the result of those screening results,” Letnaunchyn said.

So far, only one person has died here in the U.S. of Ebola. Thomas Duncan contracted the virus while in Africa and brought it back with him to Dallas. He was turned away from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital with a 103-degree temperature the first time he went to the ER. The second time he was brought in by ambulance. Two nurses who helped care for Duncan have now been diagnosed with the illness. Faulty hospital procedures have been blamed.

Letnaunchyn said he would not expect a patient with the virus here in West Virginia to slip through the cracks.

“We screen patients when they come in. All the hospitals have screening criteria to determine whether the patient needs isolation or further testing. Depending on the results of that screen they have protocols again that they follow.”

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  • Stephen

    Well as a Er nurse if people would only come in as an emergency and not like a clinic waits would not be that bad we take people in on a priority bases not on a first come bases so if you had to wait that tells me you use the Er as a clinic

  • Renee

    West Virginia is never prepared! I live in West Virginia everyone ALWAYS sits in the Emergency Room for HOURS and HOURS! I know from experience! Now If these so-called Hostpitals wanna keep people safe! They need to get off of there lazy hind-ends! And get to work! PEOPLE COME TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM FOR REASONS! There in trouble! THERE IN PAIN! THEY NEED HELP ASAP! So if West Virginia Hostpitals don't start helping he patients they already have! Then all of WV will die of Ebola!

  • Stupid Hillbillies

    Didn't the hospital in Dallas say the very same thing? The gift from africa keep giving us more unwanted gifts from africa.

  • Thecrow2123

    So our hospitals are ready huh.

    Ok, I'll bite.

    So he's saying we have spent the money on each one and have built a Level 4 Containment Wing.

    Purchased all the required equipment and spent the money and time to properly train each staff member.

    Established a new chapter in their operations manuals clearly defining operating procedures, decontamination procedures, waste management and exposure protocols.


    Because that's the only friggin way they are possibly ready to deal with Ebola!

  • Thecrow2123

    Obama canceling fund raisers, not playing golf and actually meeting with staff and advisors?

    Makes me wonder if the problem is not that we now have a second person who has contracted Ebola in this country but that she was actually allowed to fly from Dallas to Cleveland and back while symptomatic and then that plane flew four other flights around the country with all the hundreds of passengers and crew possibly being exposed. Is it possible the man is afraid of contracting the deadly virus he is alright with exposing us to and that's why he is staying put?

    It's alright Barry. The chance of you getting Ebola while out there fund raising, shaking hands, mingling with the public is very unlikely. Remember? You said you couldn't get it that way remember?

    By all means Barry, go fund raise. Go organize. I hear there's some functions going on in Cleveland and Dallas. Go mingle. Go shake some hands. Go ride some busses. Go show the people there is nothing to worry about like you said.

  • GregG

    Our hospitals can't even deal with MRSA and yet the want to say the are prepared for Ebola? I call BS!!!!

  • 2XLPatriot

    I'm an RN and can assure you we are prepared. We have received no less than 3 memos in our e-mail that outline CDC guidelines for ebola and assurances not to panic. I am confident we are prepared. NOT!

  • Ron from Morgantown

    WVU hospital is too busy ordering food for delivery to worry about Ebola . Pizza anyone ?

  • Relax

    Breaking news: 3 people have contracted Ebola in the us. 1 person who came from Africa and the 2 people wiping his butt. it's not easily transferred, not airborne and not the first time it's been in the us, it was here in the 80's before 24hr news channels focussed on freak-outs. Relax, wash your hands, and don't go to areas with Ebola issues.

  • Really

    If you're a physician then I am the queen of England. there isn't a medical school in the country that would give a degree to someone with grammar like that. I know these comments are anonymous, but don't take it so far. I strongly doubt you could even achieve an LPN.

  • Atheist

    Send Pat Robertson over to Africa to heal everyone, LOL. Forget he just goes there to check out his gold mines.

  • Mountain Navy

    Anyone that still supports Obama needs to have their head examined. The incompetents of this president is staggering. He hires a spin master sorry but it is too late.

  • RogerD

    So after speaking to the CDC, the President and CEO of the WV Hospital association received his talking points which were to assure everyone that the situation is under control and there is nothing to worry about. Feel better now?

  • Kelly

    Are we in any danger with Baylor coming to Morgantown tomorrow?!

    Hope not.

  • Tim C

    Such BS.......and now that Obama has gotten himself a new "Ebola Czar" (an old political hack who doesn't have a medical background) I feel safer already...........NOT!

  • Thecrow2123

    I seriously doubt they are anywhere close to being ready to treat someone with Ebola.

  • Nurse

    The hosital I work at is a joke. They are not even prepared for a patient who has a flu. If this come to backwoods WV it will become a major problem fast. BEWARE!!!!!!!!

  • Bob

    Which hospital(s) followed CDC Web site for Ebola viruses treatment (now removed from their web site) to have the Class 4 rooms for treating patients? Maybe WVU?

  • whatever

    As a physician I guarantee you they are not prepared for such a thing. They can talk all they want but when that person walks thru the door throwing up on somebody and sitting in that waiting room for an hour before they even get back to be seen by a nurse or pa etc then finally a Dr. How many people will be affected by that time? Who knows? The odds of it actually coming here is fairly low and you are probably more likely to die of the flu BUT if we don't get a handle on this it could be very damaging to the country. Stop the flights! Its common sense!!

  • Bill MC

    I have a feeling they are blowing smoke, just to sound like they are on top of everything.