While questions about the Ebola virus mount, the CDC announced new guidelines last night for hospital workers caring for patients with Ebola. The revised rules are similar to the demanding standards used by Doctors Without Borders. The goal is to prevent infection as much as possible by protecting skin and mucus membranes from any blood and bodily fluids. The updated instructions fall into three main areas:
Anyone working with patients must have intensive training and be well-versed in how to use personal protective equipment (PPE). While PPE is clearly important when it comes to keeping healthcare workers safe, “focusing only on PPE gives a false sense of security of safe care and worker safety,” notes the release from the CDC. “Training is a critical aspect of ensuring infection control.” The release also emphasizes that facilities need to make sure everyone has had plenty of preparation when it comes time to handle PPE. To help this cause, the CDC and its partners will offer more training to healthcare workers across the country.
How to Really Protect Yourself from Ebola. While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be exposed to anyone with the virus in the U.S., experts still have a few tips to keep in mind.