Over the past few months, we’ve all watched as the Ebola situation has continued to evolve, with the US encountering its first diagnosed case on September 30th. As we learn more about this virus, its symptoms, and the way it’s spread, many of us have questions and concerns. It is important that healthcare workers – including those in the dental industry – arm themselves with tools and knowledge to help prevent the spread of Ebola. While it is unlikely many dental offices will encounter the virus, it never hurts to be prepared to address any transmissible diseases. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of resources we think will help educate you, your practice, and your patients.
OSAP has created a great informational toolkit with information about the recent history and spread of Ebola in the US. They’ve compiled regulations and guidelines from organizations like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and have created some best practices for the situation at hand.
The ADA, along with the CDC and OSAP, is committed to keeping dental professionals up-to-date on the latest information regarding this evolving issue. They’ve pulled together a list of common symptoms to be aware of, and information about the spread of the disease.
The CDC has a very comprehensive overview of the virus, including outbreak history, risk of exposure information, and information for healthcare workers. Of particular interest is the Health Care Provider Preparedness Checklist for Ebola Virus Disease. The 2-page document has good information about how health care providers can prepare, should they encounter someone with the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
While these resources are heavily geared toward Ebola virus preparedness, much of the information can also be applied to other, more common illnesses like Influenza. It’s important to review infection prevention procedures and policies in your practice to help keep employees and patients healthy and safe.
If there are other resources that you’ve found to be helpful, share them in the comments below.