Today’s topic: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) update
Action requested: Be aware of updated guidance for ambulatory care evaluation of patients with possible EVD.
Background & Recommendations
As of October 31, 2014, the World Health Organization had received reports of 13,567 EVD cases in eight affected countries, with 4951 deaths (36% mortality rate). The rate of increase in new cases has declined, suggesting that the epidemic may be slowing.
There have been only four EVD cases diagnosed in the U.S.; two were persons who had returned to the U.S. from the affected West African countries (one died) and two were health care personnel who provided care to the first case diagnosed in the U.S. Surveillance of 108 persons exposed to these cases has ended with no new cases identified; surveillance continues for another 69 possible contacts. Except when health care workers care directly for patients seriously ill with EVD, there appears to be an exceedingly low risk of secondary transmission in the U.S. There have been no cases of EVD in Washington State.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has published updated guidance for ambulatory care evaluation of patients with possible EVD (http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/ambulatory-care-evaluation-of-patients-with-possible-ebola.pdf). Please note the following changes to prior guidance:
1) Among symptoms & signs considered possible indications of EVD is subjective report of fever or documented temperature of ≥100.4o F or 38o C.
2) In addition to contacting public health if EVD is suspected, also alert the Health District at 425-339-5278 if a person who has traveled from Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea in the past 21 days does not have signs or symptoms of EVD. Although Washington’s local public health agencies are being informed about and are monitoring persons entering the U.S. after traveling from the affected West African countries, reports from health care providers will assure that our efforts are comprehensive.
You can find detailed guidance for health care workers at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/index.html.
You can find useful checklists for Snohomish County providers under Ebola Virus Disease screening forms on our Ebola website at http://www.snohd.org/Diseases-Risks/Ebola-Virus-Disease.
You can find my recent health alerts posted on the Provider pages of our website, at http://www.snohd.org/Providers/Health-Alerts.