Readiness Advisory: Update on the Ebola Outbreak in Africa: CDC Guidance for U.S. Hospitals

One year after the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola, the situation has improved, but the outbreak continues, with 2,982 cases and 1,983 deaths as of Aug. 26. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center in June to support the U.S. response to the outbreak and has sent more than 200 experts to DRC, countries bordering the outbreak area as well as World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters. On July 17, WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Our Take:
While Ebola remains a lethal disease that is difficult to treat, at this time, CDC judges the chance of spread to the U.S. to be smaller than during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in East Africa. Nevertheless, the potential for dire consequences if Ebola were to come to the U.S. again means that hospitals, health systems and clinicians should take steps to prepare, including reviewing the plans and protocols that were put into place by CDC during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak.

What You Can Do:
Please share this advisory with your chief medical/clinical officer, chief nursing officer, infection control leadership, emergency department director and emergency preparedness staff.

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