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Saturday, August 16, 2014

CDC / WHO AT ODDS OVER EBOLA PROTECTION MEASURES

August 16th, 2014 - NEW YORK, NY
By: Scott Anthony

Just when Ebola and the hype surrounding it couldn't get any more confusing, in a wild statement made by the World Health Organization on Thursday there were stark discrepancies written in terms of what Airlines should be doing, and not doing to protect the world from an Ebola outbreak.

While the CDC in Atlanta has its own theories on what should be done on airlines regarding potential Ebola patients, the WHO has a very different approach.  According to the World Health Organization:

“Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not airborne,” says Dr Isabelle Nuttall, Director of WHO Global Capacity Alert and Response. “It can only be transmitted by direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with the disease.”
On the small chance that someone on the plane is sick with Ebola, the likelihood of other passengers and crew having contact with their body fluids is even smaller. Usually when someone is sick with Ebola, they are so unwell that they cannot travel. WHO is therefore advising against travel bans to and from affected countries.
“Because the risk of Ebola transmission on airplanes is so low, WHO does not consider air transport hubs at high risk for further spread of Ebola,” says Dr Nuttall.
In early August, after the meeting of the Ebola Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations, WHO provided advice to countries to help contain the current Ebola outbreak and prevent it from spreading further. The guidance recommended:
  • no ban on international travel or trade;
  • that countries be prepared to detect, investigate, and manage Ebola cases; including access to a qualified diagnostic laboratory for Ebola virus and, where appropriate, the capacity to identify and care for travellers originating from known Ebola-infected areas who arrive at international airports or major land crossing points with unexplained fever and other symptoms.
WHO Source Document: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2014/ebola-travel/en/


THE CDC on the other hand, is taking a bit more conservative approach to protecting American travelers as the EXACT CAUSE of virus transmission is UNKNOWN at this time, and it is a BioSafety Level 4 Virus (meaning, highly communicable, high threat level, no known treatment, no cure):


"Because the natural reservoir of ebolaviruses has not yet been proven, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers have hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.
When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. The virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with
  • a sick person's blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen)
  • objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected body fluids
  • infected animals
CDC workers in an infected region with full BSL4 suits on.  Source: CDC.gov

Healthcare workers and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids.
During outbreaks of Ebola HF, the disease can spread quickly within healthcare settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to ebolaviruses can occur in healthcare settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves.
Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak."
Further:  
  • Surgical-type face masks worn by an ill person may help reduce the spread of respiratory germs from coughing, sneezing or talking; however, surgical facemasks are not recommended for use by a person who is not ill.
1.  http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/air/managing-sick-travelers/commercial-aircraft/infection-control-cabin-crew.html
2.  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/infection-prevention-and-control-recommendations.html

CONCLUDING REMARKS:
At this time, it is INCONCLUSIVE as to the exact spread / transmission of the Ebola Virus.  It is recommended by the CDC that TRAVEL TO SIERRA LEONE, NIGERIA, LIBERIA BE RESTRICTED!  This is due to the UNKNOWN nature of the Ebola Virus and how it is transmitted.  In fact, IT IS DISTURBING that the World Health Organization is publishing that it can ONLY be transmitted via contact.  THIS IS NOT TRUE as multiple scientific Journals have published, peer-reviewed articles with medical experts stating that Ebola CAN BE TRANSMITTED VIA AIR DROPLETS... this is the very reason healthcare workers are required to wear FACEMASKS!  

Ebola Air Transmission Proven:
1.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7547435
2.  http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/pigs-monkeys-ebola-goes-airborne-112112
3.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8551825
4.  http://www.msdsonline.com/resources/msds-resources/free-safety-data-sheet-index/ebola-virus.aspx
5.  http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-20341423
6.  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/case-definition.html (look at the footnote)

In addition, the CDC also recommends the following for persons who are traveling via airlines:

Management of ill people on aircraft if Ebola is suspected

It is difficult to know what illness a sick person has on an airplane without further evaluation and laboratory testing. Therefore , cabin crew should follow routine infection control precautions for ill travelers identified during flight. Although Ebola does not spread through the air, these routine precautions include management of travelers with respiratory illness to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air.
  • Keep the sick person separated from others as much as possible.
  • If the sick person is coughing or sneezing, provide a surgical mask (if the sick person can tolerate wearing one).
  • If a mask cannot be tolerated, provide tissues and ask the person to cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Provide a plastic bag for disposing used tissues.
  • Provide an air sickness bag if traveler is vomiting or reports feeling nauseous.
  • Wear impermeable disposable gloves for direct contact with blood or other body fluids.
http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/air/managing-sick-travelers/ebola-guidance-airlines.html


TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS LISTED HERE: