CDC Guidance for Monitoring and Movement for Ebola Response

10/28/2014 12:07:28 PM

This is a message from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Emergency Operations Center (DHH EOC). To remain current on newly released information about the 2014 Ebola Epidemic, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.

The situation in Louisiana has not changed. The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) continues to encourage preparedness for safe response to Ebola.

CDC has released new information for monitoring and movement for Ebola response. “Monitoring Symptoms and Controlling Movement to Stop Spread of Ebola” is available http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/fs1027-monitoring-symptoms-controlling-movement.html and “Interim U.S. Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Potential Ebola Virus Exposure” is at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html.

This updated guidance focuses on strengthening how we monitor people who may have been exposed to Ebola and how medical professionals will oversee their care and, when warranted to protect the public health or our communities, limit their movement or activities. Through these changes, CDC and state and local health departments seek to support people who may have been exposed to Ebola, while also continuing to stop Ebola at its source in West Africa through the valor of our health care workers who serve. These changes will help ensure their symptoms are monitored and a system is in place to quickly recognize when they need to be routed to care.
These actions will better protect potentially exposed individuals and the American public as a whole.

Key changes to the movement and monitoring guidance:
• New risk levels are given for people who may have been exposed to Ebola, as well as for those not at risk for the disease.
• The guidance recommends stricter actions for escalating level of risk based on the type of exposure.
• State and local public health authorities are advised to use active monitoring or direct active monitoring rather than having people monitor themselves.
• Specific guidance is given about monitoring health care workers who cared for patients with Ebola in a country with widespread transmission, and people who visited an Ebola Treatment Unit in one of those countries.
• Specific guidance is also given about monitoring health care workers who provided care of patients with Ebola in the United States

“Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Potential Ebola Virus Exposure” lists the following factors as possible consequences for further international spread:

• the virulence (ability to cause serious disease or death) of the virus,
• the widespread transmission in communities and healthcare facilities in the currently affected countries, and
• the strained health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries.

Be reminded that coordinated public health actions are essential to stop and reverse the spread of Ebola. Health care workers who take care of patients with Ebola are not only helping the nations facing the Ebola outbreak but also protecting people in the United States by helping to fight the outbreak at its source. The risk in this country will only be fully addressed when the current outbreak in Africa is over, and the participation of U.S. and other health care workers from outside of the countries with widespread transmission is essential to control the disease.

For general discussion about Ebola, email the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals at Ebola@la.gov. Immediately notify the Louisiana Office of Public Health at 504-568-8313 or after hours at 800-256-2748 to discuss a possible exposure, report a suspected case and arrange for laboratory testing.