CDC Outlines Suggestions for Keeping Viruses Contained
With plans underway to bring Americans stricken with Ebola back into the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a guide explaining how hospitals should manage Ebola patients. Specifically, the guide highlighted the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, fluid-resistant or impermeable gowns, proper eye protection and face masks. If there is a large amount of blood or other body fluids, personnel may also be told to wear double sets of gloves, shoe covers or leg covers, the CDC added.
According to recent reports from NPR.org, most hospitals already have separate wings or areas within the facility which are specially designed to house and treat people infected by bioterrorism attacks or pandemics. Each infectious patient is put in an isolation room, of which health workers are required to put on protective gear before entering and remove immediately upon leaving. The PPE should be discarded properly in red infectious disease waste bags, which are then burned.
This advice applies to doctors and nurses, as well as environmental services professionals tasked with cleaning/disinfecting rooms and/or discarding of waste. Proper infection control techniques are essential to containing germs and viruses.
In 2003, hospitals learned the hard way that workers would shortcut safety precautions just because they were busy. The result was a wide-spared SARS outbreak.
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