Ebola risk screen to begin in select locations

PROVIDENCE CENTRAL DIVISION – According to the CDC, Ebola cases have been reported in nine districts (Mubende, Kyegegwa, Kassanda, Kagadi, Bunyangabu, Kampala, Wakiso, Masaka, and Jinja) across Western and Central Uganda. As of Nov. 16, there are 141 confirmed cases and 55 deaths. To date there are no reported cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outside of Uganda. Despite the increase in number of cases and the transmissions reported in the capital city of Kampala, the current probability that citizens living in or travelling to EVD-affected areas of Uganda will be exposed to the virus is very low.

Travelers entering the U.S. from Uganda via five major airports are being screened for risk. Those identified as low-risk will be allowed to travel to their home states, where they will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days.

Due to the potential for international spread, the CDC recommends reviewing symptom and travel history of patients entering health care facilities. As of Tuesday, Nov. 29Ebola Risk Screening will be initiated to promote early identification of those at risk in emergency departments as well as urgent care and acute care locations. The situation will be closely monitored and additional locations may be added.

The Ebola risk flag will only be triggered in Epic if the patient reports symptoms (diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle/body aches, stomach pain, vomiting and/or weakness/fatigue) AND reports an exposure to someone with Ebola in the last three weeks or having traveled to Uganda in the last 30 days.
If someone screens positive for Ebola risk:

  • Have the patient put on a mask and isolate them from others by placing in a designated room with a door that closes (an airborne isolation room if available).
  • Put on appropriate PPE (gown/coverall, respirator [N95 with eye protection, CAPR or PAPR], gloves and boot covers) if you will have direct contact with the patient. 
  • Validate risk screen (i.e., travel or exposure)
  • If risk is confirmed, inform local leaders, Infection Prevention, and local health authorities to determine next steps.

Our local teams are reviewing existing Ebola preparedness plans. Contact your core leader and/or Infection Prevention if you have questions about the protocols in your facility.  

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