Ebola Virus Update

Department Order No. 66 October 1, 2014: Ebola Virus Update
To increase the awareness by all members of the concerns associated with treating and transporting patients who may have the Ebola Virus Disease, members shall review and comply with procedures outlined in CFR-D Manual, Chapter 6, Directive 2014-05 dated August 7, 2014; titled Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Advisory.

In addition, a link is available on the DiamondPlate homepage with updated information, which states in part: "FDNY personnel are likely to have the first pre-hospital contact with patients infected with Ebola. It is imperative that we treat ALL patients on ALL medical responses with universal precautions and an appropriate level of body substance isolation (BSI). For patients exhibiting fever, cough or flu-like symptoms, first responders should limit personnel making contact with the patient.

Consideration should be given to placing a non-rebreather on the patient as soon as possible. This will provide oxygen to your patient, while also providing a degree of reverse isolation from body fluids in and around the patient's nose or mouth. The FDNY in collaboration with the Department of Health are working together to provide members with the most up-to-date information regarding this issue.

What Fire Fighters Need to Know About Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
While it has been known that the deadly epidemic of Ebola is occurring in several western countries in Africa, the first confirmed case in the United States occurred in Dallas, Texas. On September 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first travel-associated case.

Fire fighters and EMS personnel transport daily many patients with fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, which are common symptoms of many infectious and contagious diseases. Therefore, it is important that a patient history is taken that includes the onset and severity of symptoms, medications, history of travel, and potential exposures. As always, consistently use universal precautions and hand wash during every patient encounter.

The transmission of the Ebola virus occurs through direct contact with blood and bodily fluids of an infected person. It can also be transmitted through exposure to objects that are contaminated by the bodily fluids, such as needles.

For more information on what fire fighters should know about Ebola, visit HERE.

CDC Ebola Resources for Health Care Professionals and the Public
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed and disseminated a number of Ebola resources for use by health care professionals, state and local health departments, and the general public. Information is available on the CDC website and is updated daily. With the announcement Tuesday of the first Ebola case diagnosed in the US, these resources may be helpful to organizations involved in health care and health policy.

The CDC Ebola virus Website Homepage includes an overview of clinical guidance issued by CDC, with links to specific guidance. Other sections of the homepage highlight the latest updates and provide links to information for special populations, such as those traveling, working or living abroad, airline workers, and healthcare personnel. For those needing more details about symptoms, transmission, prevention, and risks, links from the homepage lead to scientific information on these topics. An extensive library of downloadable electronic resources is also available from the homepage and includes:

  • Videos with information about the epidemic in West Africa, how contact tracing works, and stories from CDC staff who have returned from West Africa.
  • Infographics mapping the epidemic, illustrating Ebola symptoms, and providing overall information on preventing and stopping Ebola.
  • Fact sheets provide guidance for health care professionals and overview of the Ebola virus suitable for a general audience.
In addition, CDC maintains a robust social media presence, with regular postings on Facebook, Twitter (@CDCgov, @DrFriedenCDC), and other social media sites.

CDC also has Ebola web content available for syndication on other organizations' websites; once the tools have been added to another website, the information is updated automatically when CDC updates the information on its website. Instructions for adding syndicated content to your website: Is Here.

For additional information on CDC's work on Ebola, please visit www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.