By Dr. Sanjay Gupta – Ebola was a practice run. We may see more cases in this country, but we know now that our public health system can contain it. SARS was also a practice run. So was bird flu. None turned into the pandemic we feared. But health experts agree that one day we will be confronted with a dangerous infectious disease that we cannot contain. Are we ready for it?
Jay Varkey, MD, is a specialist in infectious diseases at Emory University Hospital, one of just four hospitals in the country with a specialized bio-containment unit. Dr. Varkey and his team had just 72 hours notice before they received the first Ebola patients in the United States.
In our interview we discuss the lessons learned in handling this highly dangerous disease, and whether we’re ready for the infectious disease that goes global, whatever that turns out to be. His answer: We’re not ready now, but the lesson of Ebola is that we need to get ready.
Sanjay Gupta, MD, Everyday Health: Did you ever imagine when you were a medical student or in your training that you would take care of a patient with Ebola?
Jay Varkey, MD, Emory University Hospital: No.
Dr. Gupta: What was it like when you got the call saying that you’re going to do just that? (read more)