There is so much going on in regards to infectious disease that we want to give you an update of Gibson Area Hospital’s role in keeping our staff, patients, and families safe. Knowledge is power, so I have brought “IC Corner” out of the mothballs so to speak, to keep staff updated regarding the status of potential threats and what we are doing to respond.
The most relevant at this time is the “Ebola Virus Disease” (EVD). At present there are 3 confirmed patients in the US. This is a very serious virus that can be transmitted through contact of body fluids. Symptoms can appear from 2-21 days after exposure:
- Fever (101.5 degrees F >)
- Stomach and Muscle Pain
- Unexplained bruising
Besides symptoms, you must have direct contact with body fluids from a person known or suspected to have EVD. You cannot get Ebola from someone if they are not displaying signs or symptoms.
**Tidbit: The first 5 symptoms mimic a LOT of different illnesses, i.e., influenza, gastroenteritis, etc.. Our staff will screen patients with the following question, “Have you traveled within the last 30 days or do you live with someone that has”?
What else are we doing?
GAH has been working closely with local, state and federal agencies, and has recently implemented the “Pandemic Preparedness Committee” that is meeting on a regular basis to assess and accommodate needed preparations. We currently revising our PPE equipment for the potential interaction with this disease. Our committee has made recommendations in collaboration with the CDC and is responding accordingly. An integral point has been the proper putting on and taking off of PPE, so watch for training of front-line staff in near future!
What can you do?
Keep updated on credible websites such as CDC; http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/. This has a wealth of information based on evidence based practice.