The Allegheny County Health Department, in conjunction with the PA Department of Health and the CDC, would like to ensure that all providers are up-to-date on Ebola screening recommendations. The following paragraph is an excerpt from CDC’s Health Advisory:
Early recognition is critical to controlling the spread of Ebola virus. Consequently, healthcare personnel should elicit the patient's travel history and consider the possibility of Ebola in patients who present with fever, myalgia, severe headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. Should the patient report a history of recent travel to one of the affected West African countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea) and exhibit such symptoms, immediate action should be taken. The Ebola algorithm for the evaluation of a returned traveler and the checklist for evaluation of a patient being evaluated for Ebola are available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ebola-algorithm.pdf and http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/checklist-patients-evaluated-us-evd.pdf. Patients in whom a diagnosis of Ebola is being considered should be isolated in a single room (with a private bathroom), and healthcare personnel should follow standard, contact, and droplet precautions, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Infection control personnel and the local health department should be immediately contacted for consultation.
CDC has developed a checklist for health care providers to ensure they are prepared to identify and care for Ebola patients:
CDC has also designed a poster providing guidance on donning and removing appropriate PPE:
All providers who suspect Ebola in an Allegheny County resident or at an Allegheny County facility should call the Allegheny County Health Department immediately at 412-687-2243 to discuss testing and infection control measures.
Kristen Mertz, MD, MPH
Allegheny County Health Department
The following are updated guidance documents available:
- Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals from Dr. Nicole Lurie, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, regarding the current Ebola situation. – Oct. 3, 2014
- Interim Guidance for Environmental Infection Control in Hospitals for Ebola Virus – Updated Oct. 3, 2014
- HAN 371: Evaluating Patients for Possible Ebola Virus Disease: Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel and Health Officials – Oct. 2, 2014
- Interim Guidance: EMS Systems & 9-1-1 PSAPs: Management of Patients in the U.S. – Updated Oct. 1, 2014
- Evaluating Returned Travelers for EVD, U.S. – Oct. 1, 2014
- Checklist for Patients Being Evaluated for EVD, U.S. – Oct. 1, 2014
- Ebola Screening Criteria Template for EMS – Updated Oct. 1, 2014
- Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness
- Checklist for Healthcare Coalitions for Ebola Preparedness
- Detailed Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Checklist for Ebola Preparedness
Webinar Recording Available on Ebola Preparedness for U.S. Health Care System
A recording of a recent webinar hosted by ASPR and CDC on Ebola Preparedness for the U.S. health care system is now available for viewing. The webinar focused on the Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness, which highlights the activities that all hospitals can take to prepare for the possibility of a patient exposed to Ebola arriving for medical care. This information is especially useful for hospital emergency managers, infection control officers, hospital leadership, and clinical staff. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure hospitals can detect possible Ebola cases, protect their employees, and respond appropriately.
CDC and ASPR encourage you to visit the CDC Ebola website for the most updated information on the 2014 Ebola response and to share this information with your colleagues and networks.