As the second of two American patients infected with the Ebola virus in Western Africa was admitted to a U.S. hospital Tuesday, infectious disease specialist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated healthcare workers on the status of the outbreak and provided guidance on preparing U.S. hospitals for Ebola cases.
Aside from the two medical evacuations, there has yet to be a confirmed case of the Ebola virus in the United States. But hospitals are preparing for that possibility. A woman in an Ohio hospital tested negative for Ebola and a man at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York is in isolation awaiting test results, but it "is unlikely to have Ebola," the city's health department said in a statement Monday.
In a one-hour webinar for clinicians, Barbara Knust, epidemiologist at the CDC's division of high consequence pathogens and pathology and David Kuhar, MD, from the CDC's division of healthcare quality promotion, shared information about the cause of the disease, how it is transmitted, and offered guidance on preventative measures.
Knust and Kuhar emphasized that Ebola is only transmittable through body fluids and quickly dies outside a host body. Victims are not contagious until symptoms develop. The CDC supplied guidelines for evaluating patients and for managing infection prevention and control for hospitalized patients.