With Ebola in the news and government officials officially dropping the ball, prudent people should consider how best to handle a potential infectious situation. Ebola is just one of the many diseases that are spread through human contact.
First, you must know the Signs and Symptoms of Ebola.
Home Isolation Kits and Containment
When faced with a possible infectious disease containment is the priority. If you are in a home designate a room that is the isolation room. The kit for that room should contain:
- PPE such as gloves, gowns, shoe and head covers.
- Mask and respirators that are TB certified.
- Face shield and eye protection such as goggles.
- Fresh water. If needed store bottled water in the room.
- Antibacterial hand sanitizer.
- Plastic or metal garbage can with trash bags and lid. Preferably a lid that opens with a step lever.
- Containers for sterilizing equipment.
- Alcohol 99% Isopropyl.
- Ample disposable and absorbent pads for cleaning up bio-waste. This includes disposable washcloths, heavy duty paper towels, and absorbent incontinence pads.
- Heavy duty plastic sheeting. This is placed from the floor to ceiling roughly 2 feet from the door. The idea is to help reduce the inflow and exit of air as the door is opened and closed. A Sliding door is best as it creates less draft when opened or closed.
Mobile Isolation Kit
If you are mobile a high-grade isolation tent with the above list of materials should be used.
For the Basic Isolation Kit that should be kept in your home and your vehicle includes the following Equipment.
- Respirator Mask that is TB grade.
- Nitrile Gloves.
- Face Mask and goggles to protect the mucous membranes around the eyes and nose.
- Disposable gown, at least one preferably more.
- Hair and shoe covers.
- Garbage bags that are designated for infectious waste
- Hand sanitizer and a small bottle of bleach.
- Disposable wipes, washcloths, heavy duty paper towels and absorbent pads.
- A tent to isolate potentially infected people.
- An ice chest in which all of this can fit. The insulated ice chest will help to keep things from becoming damaged by the heat inside of the vehicle.
Test Your Protocols
Flu season is here. This is the perfect opportunity to test your infection control habits. If you can mix with the general public and not catch the flu, then you are doing something right. This is also the time to make sure that everyone understands infection control and how important hand washing is.
As of Today, questions have arisen about Ebola and public safety. When Chris Christie released Kaci Hickox from Ebola isolation after only 72 hours of being quarantined, it raised questions about whether or not government officials were the correct personnel to carry out public safety protocols. Kaci Hickox is an RN, who traveled and worked with Doctors Without Borders and treated Ebola patients in West Africa. Her return to the United States was a potential link to Ebola and the American public.
Ebola takes upwards of 21 days for symptoms to manifest. She was quarantined for only three days before she was released, presumably back into the public sector. While the World Health Organization and the CDC claim that people are not infectious until symptoms appear, it is never wise to wait until symptoms are present before you instigate infection control. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the adage goes.
How prepared are you for an infectious control situation?