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UPDATE 10/21/2014: The CDC issues new guidelines concerning safety protocols and personal safety equipment for U.S. healthcare workers treating patients with Ebola. New guidelines can be read in full on the CDC website here.
UPDATE 10/17/2014: The Illinois Department of Public Health has set up a 24-hour hotline to answer questions about Ebola. The number is 800-889-3931.
UPDATE 10/15/2014: After two recent secondary infections of healthcare workers in Dallas, NorthShore is taking further action to ensure the safety of our valued hospital staff, patients and visitors, including:
There have been no cases of Ebola in Illinois. For the latest information on Ebola in the US and West Africa, please visit the CDC website here.
Becky Smith, MD, Chief Hospital Epidemiologist and attending in Infectious Diseases at NorthShore, explains how we have prepared for high risk infections like Ebola in our hospital emergency departments and medical group offices in order to minimize the risk of the spread of the disease to our patients and staff:After recording the patient’s name and date of birth, there are two important questions that must be asked prior to suspecting Ebola:
If you can answer “no” to either question, there is no reason to believe you have Ebola. You can be evaluated by your doctor in the usual manner because you do not have Ebola.In the unlikely event that a patient in the Chicago area answers “yes” to both questions, NorthShore already has plans in place to handle this high-risk infection:
With the help of NorthShore’s Infection Control department, our community is working diligently to prepare for any suspected case of Ebola or other high-risk infectious disease, and prevent its spread.