Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola Roulette: US protocols are the weakest in the world

On October 16, 2014, international relief group Samaritan's Purse expressed their extreme concern with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) procedures in treating Ebola. Vice President Ken Isaacs told The Hill that American standards for protecting healthcare workers from Ebola are weaker than those widely used in West Africa. “We’re not comfortable with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] procedures,” he said.

For example, when Samaritan's Purse health workers treat Ebola patients in Liberia, they wear two pairs of gloves and spray themselves with disinfectant twice before leaving the isolation ward. They have a three-foot “no touch” policy.

In contrast, U.S. hospitals, such as Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which has had three cases of Ebola so far, were told by the CDC that medical professionals don't have to hose down their gear or be concerned about leaving their skin exposed in dealing with Ebola patients.

“If you slip, and you touch your skin … you’re going to get Ebola … Can we trust CDC? They said they were going to stop it in its tracks, but I don’t know," said Isaacs.