On August 6, 2014 members of the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Ebola a public health emergency of international concern. Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) [also known as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever] is one of the world’s most virulent diseases and is transmitted through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions.
As of June 17, 2015, the CDC and VDH discontinued active monitoring of persons who have traveled only to Liberia within the last 21 days. These travelers will instead be asked to self monitor their health for 21 days following their departure from Liberia. If during the self-monitoring period a traveler develops illness that may be consistent with Ebola, the travelers and their health care providers are being instructed to contact the local health department.
Below are documents that EMS providers and agencies can use to help them understand the disease and how it might affect EMS in Virginia. Both documents include other links that are also helpful in understanding the virus.
- VDH Ebola – Information for Healthcare Professionals
- VDH Ebola (Ebola virus disease) Fact Sheet
- VDH Ebola Info Website
- NIOSH Info about Ebola for Healthcare Workers
- CDC General Info about Ebola: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. The viruses that cause EVD are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. People can get EVD through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV (tradename “Ervebo”) for the prevention of EVD. The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine has been found to be safe and protective against only the Zaire ebolavirus species of ebolavirus.
- CDC Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centers/Public Safety Answering Points (ECC/PSAPs) for Management of Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the United States: Employers and supervisors should use this information to understand and explain to staff how to respond and stay safe. Supervisors can use this information to prepare, educate, and train EMS personnel. Individuals can use this information to stay safe when responding to PUIs.
- Transporting Suspected / Confirmed Ebola Patients: of Suspected or Confirmed Patients with Ebola Virus Disease in the United States: State EMS officials and regional and state EMS planners can use this information to develop regional transport networks, local transport plans, and standard operating procedures. Managers and medical directors can use this guidance to develop procedures and protocols for their services to conduct interfacility transport (including intrastate or interstate) of PUIs and patients with confirmed Ebola. They may also use the information to prepare, educate, and train EMS personnel. Individual providers may use this information to stay safe when responding to and transporting PUIs or patients confirmed to have Ebola.
- Guidance on Air Medical Transport for Patients with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD): Use this guidance to ensure the safety of healthcare personnel and patients during AMT of patients with EVD. Explain to pilots, other aircraft personnel, and cleaning crews what special actions should occur before, during, and after transport, and how to stay safe.
- Transporting of Pediatric Patients with Ebola: Keeping workers, children, and family members safe while handling inquiries and responding to calls related to pediatric patients (<18 years of age) under investigation (PUI) for Ebola. Managers should use this information to understand and explain to staff how to respond and stay safe. Individual providers can use this information to respond to patients suspected to have Ebola and to stay safe.
- Regional Council EVD Response Plans
- VDH Clinicians Zika Update #1
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) Zika web-site
- Key Messages from National Association of EMS Officials (NASEMSO) – Zika Virus Disease (Updated by CDC January 27, 2016)
- Zika Virus information (CDC January 2016)