Ebola is nothing more than a virus. A very lethal virus, but a virus none the less. It gets transferred just like any other known virus.ebola-washhands4502
As we discussed in earlier blogs, we need to know nature of this enemy. First and foremost, how does Ebola get transferred? There are certain elements that need to be present:
1. An infection agent (Ebola or other virus) and a reservoir of available organisms (people / animals)
2. An environment in which the pathogenic microbes can live and multiply
3. A portal of exit (sneezing, body fluids etc.) from the reservoir (people / animals)
4. A means of transmission (touching)
5. A portal of entry into a new host (ears, nose, mouth)
Ok so, that is how its spread. Now, how can I NOT get it? Really, for most of us, we can stick with the top 3 items listed by the CDC when it comes to Ebola. Which are:
• Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.
• Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
The best way for all of us dealing directly with any sick person, regardless of their sickness, is to use “Standard Precautions.” This is a term, used in the medical field, to refer to a set of infection control practices that aid in preventing transmission of diseases. These diseases can be acquired by contact with blood, body fluids, non-intact skin (including rashes), and mucous membranes. These measures are to be used when providing care to all individuals, regardless to if they appear infectious or symptomatic.
Hand Hygiene
Hand Hygiene refers to both washing with plain or anti-bacterial soap and water and to the use of alcohol gel to decontaminate hands. When hands are not visibly soiled, alcohol gel is the preferred method of hand hygiene when providing health care to patients. Hand hygiene should be performed:
1. Before and after contact with a patient
2. Immediately after touching blood, body fluids, non-intact skin, mucous membranes, or contaminated items (even when gloves are worn during contact)
3. Immediately after removing gloves
4. When moving from contaminated body sites
5. To clean body sites during patient care
6. After touching objects and medical equipment in the immediate patient care vicinity
7. Before eating
8. After using the restroom
9. After coughing or sneezing into a tissue as part of respiratory hygiene
CDC guidelines – Hand Hygiene in Health Care Settings
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE includes items such as gloves, gowns, masks, respirators, and eyewear used to create barriers that protect skin, clothing, mucous membranes, and the respiratory tract from infectious agents. The items selected for use depend on the type of interaction you will have with a person and the likely modes of disease transmission.
Wear gloves when touching blood, body fluids, non-intact skin, mucous membranes, and contaminated items. Gloves must always be worn during activities involving vascular access, such as performing phlebotomies.
Wear a surgical mask and goggles or face shield if there is a reasonable chance that a splash or spray of blood or body fluids may occur to the eyes, mouth, or nose.
Wear a gown if skin or clothing is likely to be exposed to blood or body fluids.
Remove PPE immediately after use and wash hands. It is important to remove PPE in the proper order to prevent contamination of skin or clothing. The CDC has suggested steps for correctly Donning and Removing PPE.
If we follow these protective steps during this pandemic, it will not only benefit us by reducing the risk of contracting Ebola but will also significantly reduce the risk of picking up everything from the common cold to the flu!

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