Shreveport doctor who treated Ebola in Liberia speaks on US prep - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport doctor who treated Ebola in Liberia speaks on US preparedness

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  • Shreveport native opens up about treating Ebola patients in Liberia

    Shreveport native opens up about treating Ebola patients in Liberia

    Saturday, October 11 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-10-12 00:32:28 GMT
    Oct 25, 2014 08:53 PM2014-11-02 00:17:47 GMT
    The deadly Ebola virus could infect 1.4 million people in West Africa by January. That's the startling estimate made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Shreveport native is back home after treating Ebola patients in Liberia.More >>
    The deadly Ebola virus could infect 1.4 million people in West Africa by January. That's the startling estimate made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Shreveport native is back home after treating Ebola patients in Liberia.More >>
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A Shreveport native who faced the fear of Ebola head on is sharing his experience.

Dr. Antonio Webb spent a month treating patients at the John F. Kennedy hospital in Liberia. He worked beside doctors who later became infected with Ebola- some who even died from the disease.

He says knowledge is power when it comes to handling the disease, and he feels that the US is equipped to handle the disease.

Many people are fearful of contracting Ebola, but few can express a personal connection to the disease like Webb. He not only treated those infected with that deadly virus, but also lost friends to Ebola.

"Two of the physicians I worked with, one was an ER doctor, and also the person over the entire hospital at JFK, they both passed away," Webb said.

Webb knew nothing about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa when he agreed to complete an international rotation in Liberia, a location at the top of his list. 

"It was quite a shock getting there and finding out that there was an Ebola outbreak," he said.

According to Webb there are 4.2 million people living in Liberia, but only 51 doctors to treat those people.

"Their medical system was not ready for such a deadly virus," he said.

Webb says that there is a staggering difference between the medical operations in Liberia and that of the US.

"Lack of air conditioning, lack of fresh water, reusing gloves, reusing equipment, things that here in the US we would just throw away," he added.

While he understands the fear that Ebola has caused here in the US, Webb says there is no need for the uneasy feeling. He says there are several misconceptions about Ebola.

"To this day physicians that have been practicing medicine for 10 or 15 years, when I will tell them that I just came back from Liberia, they will kind of step back for a second. It shows that there is a lack of personal knowledge and education about the Ebola virus," Webb said. 

Although it seems so fresh, it's been seven months since his eye-opening experience treating the people of Liberia. Webb says he never imagined that Ebola would make it to the US, but he has full confidence that an outbreak can be prevented on American soil.

Dr. Webb explains the experience more thoroughly in his latest book "Overcoming The Odds."

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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