Ebola Virus – Precautions for Healthcare Workers -

Ebola Virus – Precautions for Healthcare Workers

Ebola has shaken the world. EVD or Ebola Virus Disease is a fatal disease that is spreading like an epidemic. The virus is transmitted and spreads from one human being to another. Fatality chances are as high as 90%. The outbreak of this disease took place in Central Africa but soon engulfed West Africa, including both rural and urban parts. Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are affected the most. The virus is transmitted to humans via contact with secretions, blood, etc. Healthcare workers are at high risk of getting infected by the Ebola virus, since they work in close contact with infected patients.

Ebola virus spreads via contact with bodily fluids and skin of the infected person. Healthcare professionals, as well as, those workers handling deceased who succumbed because of Ebola can get infected too. Contact with contaminated surfaces, objects or needles can also cause the spread of Ebola virus, but one cannot get infected from any food, water or air.

Ebola symptoms –

The early symptoms are defined by flu and high fever. The other symptoms are muscle aches, joint aches, high fever, experiencing weakness, sore throat, appetite loss, rash etc. At times, it is not easy to decipher the symptoms of Ebola. One has to undergo advance tests and examinations. Ebola can be diagnosed through tissue and blood tests. If someone is diagnosed with Ebola, he or she has to be confined to a separate place immediately, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Symptoms are being managed with the help of oxygen, electrolytes, fluids, blood transfusions, medicines for blood pressure and treatments used for treating infections of other types. There isn’t any source of vaccination for the prevention of Ebola. Researchers are still working on finding the ideal treatment for Ebola infection. However, you can prevent getting diagnosed with Ebola virus by restricting yourself from visiting places that under the alert zone.

Healthcare workers and how they can protect themselves from Ebola infection?

Healthcare workers have higher chances of getting infected with Ebola virus. Those handling Ebola diagnosed patients can get the virus transmitted, if no precautions are taken. Such healthcare workers can prevent Ebola infection affecting them by simply wearing gloves, goggles and masks. Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals need to get adequate training, as well as, equipment to take care of Ebola patients and at the same time protect them from the virus.

Paramedics are constantly looking for methods for the prevention of contamination of surroundings where Ebola patients are housed, especially, ambulances. Health officials are planning to make use of staff members who will be assigned to monitor and determine safe wear and discarding of gowns, masks, gloves and other materials used for handling Ebola patients.

Ebola Armor –

What is Ebola Armor? It is a gear of protection for healthcare workers working and taking care of Ebola patients. These protective gears are more like shields that help provide protection to healthcare workers that from viruses, bacteria and different other types of hazards.

Ebola Armor consists of –

  • Hood is worn over a mask, and it covers shoulder, neck and face of the worker.
  • Goggles act as a shield for the face.
  • Disposable suit that comes with zipper for extra security
  • Surgical gloves
  • Full body length apron
  • Rubber boots

First one has to use a disinfectant on the outer part of the gloves. Wash hands more than 10 times. Spray chlorine disinfectant on the apron. Outer gloves removal and discarding them in a biohazard container is mandatory. Wash your hands and then remove the apron. Wash hands again and then remove your hood. Wash hands again and remove suit, wash hands and remove your mask and finally wash hands and remove your gloves. Remove boots but after disinfecting them. And wash hands with at least 0.05% chlorine.

Ebola guidelines mandated by CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC has mandated hospitals and similar healthcare institutions to follow different precautions towards the prevention of Ebola pandemic. As per the recommendations of CDC, Ebola patients have to be kept isolated from the public. Those visiting the confinement of the patient must wear protective gear, inclusive of gloves, goggles and gown, as well as, face mask and shield. They also have to use advanced protective gear and equipment. It is advised to make use of disposable materials only or disinfectants for cleaning equipment. Everything should be handled with utmost care, limitation of needle usage and disposable of puncture proof containers are part of the mandate administered by CDC.

4 out of 5 types of Ebola virus cause hazardous infection in humans. The appearance of the Ebola virus took place in Africa in 1976, but the 2014 outbreak is bigger than it. Ebola derives its name from the African river – Ebola River. This river is situated in one of the Congo villages.

We can fight Ebola and help patients recover from this deadly virus through intensive support and care, especially, concerning the immune response of patients. Those recovering from Ebola diseases are prone to build antibodies, which are capable of living for a decade or more. Therefore, there is no guarantee whether the recovering patient can become immune from the virus for eternity or not. Complications might occur in the long run, for example, vision defects, joint problems etc.

The battle against Ebola continues, as more and more nurses and other healthcare professionals are gearing to fight it!