While it is by no means certain when, or even if, an unidentified Ebola case will enter the United States – the longer the Ebola epidemic rages in West Africa – the greater are the odds of seeing that happen. As we saw with MERS this spring, and with Canada’s H5N1 case last January, infected patients can show up at emergency rooms practically anywhere.
The CDC, along with NACCHO (National Association Of County & City Health Officials) have been working to assure that local hospitals across the nation are informed, and prepared, to deal with imported cases – and last week the CDC issued a pair of preparedness checklists.
Health Care Provider Preparedness Checklist for Ebola Virus Disease[PDF - 2 pages] - September 12, 2014
Earlier this week, the CDC also released their Top 10 Ebola Response Planning Tips: Ebola Readiness Self-Assessment for State and Local Public Health Officials.
While some may view these exercises with trepidation, the biggest reason that a major outbreak of Ebola is not anticipated in the United States is due to our having a prepared and functional public health system.
Next week (Monday, Sept 29th) NACCHO will hold an Ebola Preparedness Webinar specifically for hospitals. While attendance is limited to the first 1,000 participants, the session will be archived for later viewing on the PHE Preparedness website.
September 29 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
ASPR and CDC have developed a Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness to highlight activities that all hospitals can take to prepare for the possibility of a patient exposed to Ebola arriving for medical care. This webinar is especially for hospital emergency managers, infection control officers, hospital leadership, and clinical staff. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure your hospital is able to detect possible Ebola cases, protect your employees, and respond appropriately, and the purpose of this webinar is to further explain this checklist and address any questions that you may have.
Access this webinar via the following call-in and URL information:
Dial in numbers: 888-325-0345 (Restrictions may exist when accessing freephone/toll free numbers using a mobile telephone)
Conference number: PW8836414
Audience passcode: 9909990
Participants can join the event directly at: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join.php?i=PW8836414&p=9909990&t=c
Note: Logging in 5-10 minutes before the webinar may help to avoid technical delays.
Please note that this webinar will support the first 1,000 attendees, but the webinar will be recorded and available at http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/Pages/default.aspx.