Ebola - Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals – Please Distribute Widely
As a frontline healthcare provider, you play an essential role in protecting the health and well-being of our nation. In light of the recent presentation of an Ebola-positive patient in Texas, we wanted to remind all healthcare professionals that simple steps can be taken to prevent the spread of this disease. You can contribute to our country’s response by being ready todetect a potentially infected patient; protect yourself, your colleagues, and other patients from exposure; and respond with appropriate patient care. Specifically, you should be ready to:
Although the signs and symptoms of Ebola are nonspecific (e.g., fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), Ebola can be virtually eliminated from your differential by ruling out travel to the affected area.
and proper decontamination of surfaces and equipment are key to reducing or eliminating the transmission of Ebola and other communicable diseases (e.g., HIV, influenza, hepatitis, and Enterovirus-D68).
In addition, the CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is always available at 770-488-7100 or email@example.com.
In the last decade, our nation has made great strides in healthcare system and public health emergency preparedness. As a result of our efforts, we are confident in our collective ability to control the spread of Ebola domestically. Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to national health security.
Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H.
RADM, U.S. Public Health Service
Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Additional Ebola Updates
On September 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed, through laboratory tests, the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, TX from Liberia. CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response have been anticipating and preparing for a case of Ebola in the United States. CDC and ASPR aim to increase understanding of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) and encourage widespread preparation for managing patients with EVD and other infectious diseases. At the request of Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, we are sending you the attached links to guidance that you may find useful and request that you share this information as widely as possible.
The “Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness” is intended to enhance our collective preparedness and response efforts by highlighting key areas for hospital staff -- especially hospital emergency management officers, infection control practitioners, and clinical practitioners -- to review in preparation for a person with EVD arriving at a hospital for medical care. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure your hospital is able to detect possible EVD cases, protect your employees, and respond appropriately. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/hospital-checklisk-ebola-preparedness.pdf
The “Checklist for Healthcare Coalitions for Ebola Preparedness” is intended to enhance collective preparedness and response by highlighting key areas for healthcare coalitions to review in preparing to care for patients possibly infected with the Ebola virus. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure healthcare coalition members are able to detect possible Ebola cases, protect employees, and respond appropriately. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/coalition-checklist-ebola-preparedness.pdf
The “Detailed Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Checklist for Ebola Preparedness” is similar to the above, and is intended to enhance collective preparedness and response by highlighting key areas for EMS personnel to review in preparation for encountering and providing medical care to a person with Ebola.http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ems-checklist-ebola-preparedness.pdf
Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is very low, it is important for healthcare providers, facilities, and coalitions to remain vigilant and take steps to be as prepared as possible to protect our communities and our nation from emerging infectious diseases such as EVD. CDC has numerous published resources and references to help you prepare and guidance posted on these resources may change as experts learn more about EVD. You should frequently monitor the CDC’s Ebola website for up-to-date information.