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CDC: 'Think Ebola' and 'Care Carefully'

Reminder issued along with updated preventive gear guidelines

TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued updated guidelines for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by health care workers when caring for patients with Ebola, along with a reminder to health care workers to "Think Ebola" and to "Care Carefully."

The updated gear guidance focuses on specific PPE for care workers and provides detailed instructions for putting on and taking off equipment safely. The guidance centers on three principles: All health care workers undergo rigorous training and are deemed competent with PPE; no skin is exposed when PPE is worn; and all workers are supervised by a trained monitor who observes each worker taking PPE on and off.

The CDC notes it is also critical to focus on other prevention activities to prevent the spread of Ebola in health care settings, including prompt screening and triage of potential patients; designated site managers to ensure proper implementation of precautions; limiting personnel in the isolation room; and effective environmental cleaning.

"The CDC reminds health care workers to 'Think Ebola' and to 'Care Carefully.' Health care workers should take a detailed travel and exposure history with patients who exhibit fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained hemorrhage. If the patient is under investigation for Ebola, health care workers should activate the hospital preparedness plan for Ebola, isolate the patient in a separate room with a private bathroom, and ensure standardized protocols are in place for PPE use and disposal. Health care workers should not have physical contact with the patient without putting on appropriate PPE," according to a CDC fact sheet.

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