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Ebola Five Years Later

Tuesday, July 30, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Roy Muyinza
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By: Ellen Martin, PhD, RN, CPHQ 
Director of Practice, Texas Nurses Association

It has been almost five years since the highly publicized case of Thomas Eric Duncan who contracted Ebola in his home country of Liberia before traveling to Dallas. Two nurses who cared for Mr. Duncan also contracted the virus. Within a week of Duncan’s diagnosis, Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order to establish the Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. TNA was invited to identify a representative to serve on a workgroup and engaged nurses in a tele-town hall for experts to address nurses’ concerns.

Much has happened during these five years to develop resources to address a potential outbreak in the US. Since 2014, the CDC has developed numerous protocols with resources dedicated to planning, training and management.

Members, sign in to read more about these updated protocols.

Ebola Today

This week it will be a year since the World Health Organization declared a new outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Health officials have been working to contain the outbreak using an experimental vaccine that proved to be highly effective during the 2015 Guinea outbreak. Efforts to implement the ring vaccination protocol and test drugs have proved challenging in a conflict zone where many people distrust the health system. Just two weeks ago, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a “public health emergency of international concern” and issued updated recommendations on July 17, 2019. False stories of Ebola among African migrants arriving at the Texas border have been circulating for several months but are unfounded.

The Latest Information

The Federal Drug Administration has not yet approved the Ebola vaccine for use in the US, and maintains a dedicated Ebola Preparedness and Response Updates page. This informative webpage has links to information on updated research profiles, diagnostic devices and emergency use authorizations. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services Ebola page, the FDA maintains a vaccine stockpile of 300,000 doses for emergency use.

The Texas Hospital Association’s dedicated webpage on Ebola Virus has the latest recommendations and news updates for hospitals including the latest CDC guidance for PPE.

With high-consequence infectious diseases just a plane ride away, nurses can maintain competency on the latest recommendations.

Members, sign in to read more about the nurse’s duty to the patient and specific standards to follow. 

Texas Nurses Association

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