Second Ebola nurse case in USA: CDC revises PPE guidelines

Friday, 17 October, 2014

With the second nurse testing positive for Ebola in USA, CDC and many hospitals are ugrading their guidelines on PPE for those who care for the patient, but do not come into direct contact with the patient’s fluids and fomites. The New York Times has a very informative piece here about the new guidelines.

This nurse, Amber Vinson, travelled from Dallas to Cleveland, Ohio via plane and returned just before she became symptomatic. CDC is contact tracing 132 passengers on Frontier Airlines flight 1143 for 13 October. THS Director, Rick Speare, has a recent Medical Observer column on the risks of transmitting serious pathogens by droplet infection during standard commercial flights. See Travel Bug column Flying – The truth behind the fear.

If an Ebola patient is asymptomatic or in the early stages of the disease, the risk of transmission to other passengers is very low as long as the air flow system is functioning normally. No case of Ebola has been acquired in flight – yet! However, people in the quarantine period for Ebola should not be permitted to travel.

Posted by Rick Speare