Evaluating Patients for the Ebola Virus
Posted on November 13 2014
As of Friday, October 3, 2014, the CDC has sent an alert to the U.S. Healthcare community indicating recommendations for Ebola screening. Due to the severity of the current epidemic, it is necessary that healthcare professionals become more vigilant in their assessments. Due to a breakdown in communications and record keeping systems currently guiding the medical processes, infected persons have already been able to slip past healthcare providers posing a serious domestic risk.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have issued the following major recommendations to all healthcare professionals:
1) Increase the vigilance of assessing patients and inquiring as to their travel history as recently as the last 21 days which is the incubation period for the Ebola virus. Alerts should be issued for any individual having traveled to West Africa in this time frame.
2) If a patient is exhibiting signs of the Ebola virus, and has been in the affected areas of West Africa including Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, they should be placed in isolation immediately. Patients should be provided a private room with a private bathroom, and providers should adopt contact and droplet precautions including gowns, masks, gloves, and eye protection.
3) Any potential case should be reported immediately to the local/state health department.
The CDC has asked that these details be provided to all infectious disease/control specialists, intensive care physicians, primary care physicians, emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and laboratories.