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M. Scott Carter
M. Scott Carter

M. Scott Carter reports on politics, legislation and other issues from the State Capitol.

Oklahoma hospitals are prepared to treat a state resident who tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, the state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services said Monday.

Though officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have discussed the possibility of transporting a person infected with the Ebola virus to one of five hospitals across the United States,  Terry Cline said Oklahoma is prepared to care for a resident should one be diagnosed with the disease.

“As it stands today, we are prepared to isolate and treat an individual in the state,” Cline said. “All of our preparedness mechanisms are in place. The work with the hospitals has been ongoing.”

Cline made the statement following a joint meeting with Gov. Mary Fallin, her cabinet and other public health, safety and transportation officials at the state Capitol.

Cline said he felt confident that most of the state’s larger hospitals could respond and treat a resident with the virus. He said the state’s smaller medical facilities have the ability to isolate an infected patient temporarily, but added “more than likely that patient would be transported to one of the larger hospitals.”

“We would probably go with a larger hospital, which may have more capacity,” Cline said. “Large hospital systems are definitely equipped to do that.”

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