Thursday, October 09, 2014

HHS: An Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals



# 9171


In order to help it get the greatest possible exposure I’ve reprinted the following letter from the HHS’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response Dr. Nicole Lurie to all US healthcare professionals regarding Ebola preparedness.



An Open Letter to All U.S. Healthcare Professionals

Dear Colleague,

As a frontline healthcare provider, you play an essential role in protecting the health and well-being of our nation. In light of the recent presentation of an Ebola-positive patient in Texas, we wanted to remind all healthcare professionals that simple steps can be taken to prevent the spread of this disease. You can  contribute to our country’s response by being ready to detect a potentially infected patient; protect yourself, your colleagues, and other patients from exposure; and respond with appropriate patient care. Specifically, you should be ready to:

Detect: Ask All Patients with Non-Specific Complaints About Recent Travel

A travel history should be taken as early as possible in your encounter with all patients. Although the signs and symptoms of Ebola are nonspecific (e.g., fever, headache, muscle pain,weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), Ebola can be virtually eliminated from your differential byruling out travel to the affected area.

• Protect: Use Good Infection Control Practices

Consistent and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), frequent hand washing, and proper decontamination of surfaces and equipment are key to reducing or eliminating the transmission of Ebola and other communicable diseases (e.g., HIV, influenza, hepatitis, and Enterovirus-D68).

• Respond: Have a Plan

All healthcare workers should know what to do when encountering a suspected Ebola patient. It is critical to know who to notify and to make that notification immediately. Remember, Ebola is a nationally notifiable disease and must be reported to local, state, and federal public health authorities.

The CDC website has many important resources for clinicians to learn more about Ebola.

In addition, the CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is always available at 770-488-7100or

In the last decade, our nation has made great strides in healthcare system and public health emergency preparedness. As a result of our efforts, we are confident in our collective ability to control the spread of Ebola domestically. Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to national health security.

Best regards,

Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H. RADM, U.S. Public Health Service Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


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