Ebola Outbreak June 15, 2018Jenny Abercrombie
IN THE NEWS
Ebola Outbreak June 15, 2018
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the WHO updated Ebola cases numbers on June 13 to a total of 66 cases with 38 Confirmed, 14 Probable, & 14 suspected, with a 28-person death toll. There still have been no cases in the United States or in any country aside from the DRC.
In the outbreak area, over 2600 Ebola contacts and other high-risk individuals, such as health care workers and others in contact with possible Ebola patients, have been vaccinated with an investigational vaccine from Merck. It was previously used during an Ebola outbreak in Guinea in 2015, with excellent results. Several experimental medical treatment protocols, which have shown previous effectiveness have also been deployed in the Region.
Close monitoring of the events surrounding this outbreak in the DRC will continue by WHO and other international agencies and partners. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are managing the outbreak sites along with the Health Ministry of the DRC and other partners. Although the public health authorities are still concerned and vigilant at all the sites, they are beginning to suggest that the outbreak is being contained.
E911 centers, EMS and other First Responder agencies should be reviewing their current Ebola policies and procedures and inventorying their cache of PPE, disinfectants and other supplies necessary during an Ebola outbreak. Review of processes from actual Ebola deployments as well as observational studies of practice scenarios of donning appropriate PPE, caring for a simulated patient, and then doffing and disinfecting contaminated PPE and the practitioners, demonstrated how much contamination occurs during these maneuvers. Literally, practicing, using checklists and live monitors during practice and in the event of an actual outbreak, can make the difference between staying healthy or not.