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Medical Assistants Being Prepared to Handle Ebola and other Diseases

Attn: Novemeber 2014

As panic spreads, American medical assistants are being prepared to handle the deadly Ebola virus and other infectious diseases Throughout the world medical personnel are being trained to handle the outbreak of Ebola and infectious diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) are sending highly trained staff to help combat infectious disease outbreaks in countries affected by Ebola.

Many doctors and medical personnel world-wide have volunteered to fly to West African countries with the Ebola epidemic to attend to those inflicted with the deadly disease Ebola and to help contain the outbreak. Many medical personnel have found themselves in the Ebola infected countries while working with organizations such as Doctors without Borders or Medicines Sans Frontiers while already assisting patients in those countries for existing health problems such as maternity and childbirth, vaccines, malaria, malnutrition, H.I.V. and A.I.D.S.

Many other medical personnel, from doctors to nurses to medical assistants worldwide have begun to prepare themselves for the terrifying reality that the Ebola will be unable to be contained and can or will be brought into America or any other country and create a world-wide epidemic resulting in countless deaths. In America medical assistants in every level of patient care must be prepared to handle Ebola and other diseases.

There is no certainty where someone infected with the Ebola virus may seek medical care. Every medical facility from hospital emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, independent doctor offices, county health department facilities, and even 911 operators must be vigilant that they do everything possible to recognize the symptoms of Ebola, know how to protect themselves with the proper sanitation and exposure, must be prepared to handle possible quarantine for not only the infected person but anyone them may have come in contact with, as well as take every care and precaution that after coming in contact with an infected person they do not then transmit the deadly disease to another innocent patient or themselves.

Since early Ebola symptoms can often mimic other disease symptoms, which initially appear as cold or flu symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and low grade fever it can be difficult to know if a sick individual is actually infected until after numerous other individuals have been exposed. Proper care facilities and protocols must be established for the care and well being of all people who come in contact with an Ebola infected individual or a suspected exposed person.

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Credit: Forbes.com

Travelers and Medical personnel that have recently been to West Africa and or treated Ebola infected individuals, and those that were in close contact to such individuals, could be placed under quarantine in medical facilities or to a lesser degree an in-home quarantine for non-symptomatic persons. The proper disposal of medical waste is imperative as the Ebola virus lurks in bodily fluids and can be transmitted during the care of an infected individual. Proper covering of the face and exposed skin is necessary.

Currently Ebola is not transmitted in an airborne fashion. However as sneezing still releases bodily fluid there is the debate that it could be transmitted via airborne mucus particles. In any case it is wise for possibly infected individuals and those providing their care to use all safety measures possible. As Ebola is a still relatively new disease, not only to America but all regions of the world. The often fatal disease was first discovered in Africa in the 1970’s. In the past there have been small outbreaks of the disease, but they remained confined to the region of each epidemic.

This Ebola outbreak has crossed borders and infected nearly 10,000 individuals and has killed roughly half of those infected individuals. The current epidemic has had outbreaks in densely populated areas and was initially met with superstition by locals as well as primitive hygiene practices which enabled the disease to spread rapidly. Many of the hardest hit regions with Ebola have no access to clean water, sewage running in the street, and a lack of soap and disinfectants.

Homes in these areas are often small and cramped with sick individuals sharing the space with healthy family members who are doomed to their own deaths after caring for their loved ones. Since this is the largest outbreak of the relatively new disease there is a lack of worldwide education on how to handle the crisis, how to handle the patients, the disposal of medical waste, the proper equipment needed, as well proper diagnosis, quicker testing, and transportation of infected individuals to proper care facilities.

Due to the fact that there has been relatively little research done to determine what to do to eliminate the disease, how to develop a vaccine, and there is a fear that like other disease Ebola could be capable of morphing and become transmittable by other means. With the proper medical practices, early detection, scientific research, education, and good hygiene Ebola can be eliminated before this devastating disease spreads worldwide.

Until that time in order to halt the spread of this deadly virus worldwide medical assistants need to be prepared to handle the deadly Ebola virus and other infectious diseases.

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