Ebola is Surging Again in Africa. What does that Mean for the US?

There is no denying that we live in a much smaller world with every passing year. More and more, there are more people with the ability to travel across the planet with an ease of access unseen in the history of civilization. The positives are many. Cultural exchange. Growing economies. Travel for pleasure. Who doesn’t love a cold cocktail on a tropical beach. But there are downsides as well.

Four years ago this week, the CDC announced that Thomas Eric Duncan, a reportedly 45 year old Liberian man visiting the United States from Liberia, had been diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, Texas. In the weeks that followed, hundreds of people who had come into contact with Duncan were tested but only two associated cases were found:  both attending nurses who then needed treatment themselves. From that moment, medical facilities and waste management providers alike began taking a much closer look at methods used to reduce exposure during treatment of patients, and the handling shipping and disposal of Ebola contaminated waste.

From the Washington Post, this week:

Ebola is back — and a threat to people in Congo. In late August, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the latest Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces has yet to stabilize, with 90 people dead and at least 130 probable or confirmed cases.

In Zimbabwe, the government recently declared a cholera emergency in the capital, Harare, after at least 20 people died and 2,000 fell ill. The response to these and other public health crises in Africa points to the need for action by multiple authorities.

At ASI Waste, we do not have the luxury of thinking in terms of if Ebola makes a return to the US, but rather in terms of when. That’s what preparedness looks like. Accordingly, we make it our business to empower the facilities we serve with the training, info and products they need in case of a contamination event.

When it comes to preventing the spread of contamination of a virus such as Ebola, every facility with risk needs an emergency preparedness plan. We certainly may not be at the forefront of advising how that patient is treated in such cases, but we are well equipped to assist in procedures related to waste handling and disposal.

If your facility has questions about Ebola Waste Management and Training, give us a call today!