Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Think Ebola: Early recognition is critical

ISOLATE

If assessment indicates possible Ebola virus infection, take action.

  • Isolate the patient in a private room with a private bathroom or covered, bedside commode and close the door
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE): http://go.usa.gov/szgB
  • Limit the healthcare personnel who enter the room
  • Keep a log of everyone who enters and leaves the patient’s room
  • Consider alternative diagnoses, and evaluate appropriately
  • Only perform necessary tests and procedures
  • Avoid aerosol-generating procedures Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning, disinfecting, and managing waste: http://
    go.usa.gov/szYA

INFORM

Alert others, including public health authorities.

  • Notify your facility’s infection control program and other appropriate staff
  • Contact your state or local public health authorities
  • Consult with state or local public health authorities about testing for Ebola
  • For a list of state and local health department numbers, visit: http://go.usa.gov/f74V

Friday, March 20, 2015

Think Ebola: Early recognition is critical

INITIATE

Think Ebola when you approach a patient. Start the steps for basic infection control before assessing the patient for risks.

  • Always use standard precautions
  • If there are concerns that the patient could meet the criteria for Ebola, immediately separate the patient from others

IDENTIFY

Assess your patient for:

  • Travel to a country with widespread transmission or uncertain control measures (Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone) within the last 21 days
OR
  • Contact with someone with Ebola within the last 21 days
AND
  •  Had a fever at home, or has a current fever
  • Other symptoms:
    • Severe headache
    • Muscle pain
    • Weakness
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
  • If the patient has both exposure and symptoms, immediately isolate the patient and inform others (see INFORM -> Coming Soon)

Friday, March 13, 2015

CDC: Ebola Basics

Ebola virus is NOT spread through:

  • Casual contact
  • Air
  • Water
  • Food grown or legally purchased in the U.S.

How do you get the Ebola virus?

  1. Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola. (blood, vomit, urine, feces, sweat, semen, spit, other fluids)
  2. Objects contaminated with the virus. (needles, medical equipment)
  3. Infected fruit bats or pirmates (apes and monkeys)

Early Symptoms

Ebola can only be spread to others after symptoms begin.  Symptoms can appear from 2 to 21 days after exposure.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Muscle pain

When is someone able to spread the disease to others?

Ebola only spreads when people are sick. A patient must have symptoms to spread the disease to others.
After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola.