Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification

There are many infectious illnesses managed every day by healthcare professionals across the U.S. The healthcare community, including American Medical Response (AMR), is trained, equipped and ready to care for these patients safely.

In the cases of illnesses previously not found in our country, such as Ebola, healthcare professionals use appropriate protective equipment and infection-control principles to protect themselves, their patients and our communities from transmissible disease.

“AMR clinicians and collaborating partners have been monitoring the evolving Ebola issue for the past several weeks and have developed additional resources and training materials as well as implementing a 24-hour response center to assist all of our caregivers,” stated Ed Racht, M.D., the chief medical officer for AMR. “In addition, in accordance with CDC guidelines, AMR and Contra Costa County health officials have initiated specific screening protocols, to include questions in the patient’s electronic patient record that help clinicians identify patients at risk of having Ebola. AMR employees in Contra Costa County are trained in the necessary precautions to protect against blood and body fluid contamination from infectious diseases and viruses, including Ebola.”

“It is important for people to remember that Ebola is not transmitted by air,” Racht added. “It is passed on through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected individual.”

Infectious illnesses are one of the most frequent causes of doctors’ visits, with varying symptoms ranging from runny nose, sore throat and cough, to breathing difficulty and fatigue. In the U.S., these are the most common cause of missing school or work.

In the case of Ebola, the precautions are similar for other infectious diseases. AMR offers the following prevention advice:

Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Do not handle items that may have come in contact with a potentially infected person’s blood or body fluids.

Properly clean common objects touched by individuals who may be infectious such as telephones, refrigerator door, computers, stair railings or door handles.

Refrain from touching your nose, mouth or eyes.

Get a flu shot. While unrelated to the Ebola virus, it’s vitally important to remain healthy and not transmit other infectious diseases that may have initial symptoms similar to Ebola.

Consult your healthcare provider for questions about your health or any symptoms that concern you.

For more information, visit the www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola.