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NY health workers confident after CDC Ebola briefing

Doctor and Captain Arjun Srinivasan of the U.S.

Doctor and Captain Arjun Srinivasan of the U.S. Public Health Service speaks to health care professionals during a seminar on Ebola at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Oct. 21, 2014 in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

CDC experts reviewed new Ebola protection protocols with thousands of area hospital employees at a Manhattan meeting Tuesday, and front-line workers voiced confidence in their ability to meet the challenge.

"One health care worker getting Ebola while caring for a patient is too many," Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention associate director, told more than 6,000 nurses, lab technicians and maintenance workers at the Javits Center.

Several members of the Service Employees International Union's Local 1199 said between constant training at their hospitals and yesterday's extensive demonstration, they were ready for a crisis.

Health officials are "trying to learn from the mistakes in Dallas," said Ulric Robinson, 58, of Jamaica, Queens, a surgical technician at Syosset Hospital. One patient died and two nurses were infected in Dallas.

Mayor Bill de Blasio stressed New York City has not had any cases of Ebola and flu shots would help prevent symptoms that may act as false alarms.

Many hospital workers said they are bracing for an eventual Ebola case in the area.

Some, like Joyce Pinero, 52, of Melville, a radiologic technologist at Syosset Hospital, called the risk of Ebola "scary," but noted, "You go in there because you're doing your job."

Srinivasan demonstrated how workers must don and doff protective gear, a process that includes two pairs of gloves, a face shield, a hood, booties and several applications of disinfectant solution. All should be performed in the presence of a trained supervisor -- a revision the CDC made this week.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's acting health commissioner, said the state has stockpiled thousands of protective suits and this week will meet with emergency medical services groups to review protocols for transporting Ebola patients.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, "What's going to kill this disease is knowledge, is training, is preparation."


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