Monday, October 27, 2014

Public Health Director Issues Clarifications on Ebola Guidelines

                      CHICAGO – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
                      Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck today provided further
                      guidance on Illinois’ Ebola safety guidelines,
                      including mandatory home quarantines for individuals
                      who have a high-risk of exposure to the virus.

                      “The Ebola safety guidance IDPH issued on Friday was
                      designed to ensure that the public is protected
                      without discouraging our health care workers from
                      volunteering to fight this virus at its source,” Dr.
                      Hasbrouck said.  “These guidelines ensure that we
                      appropriately address the risks posed by workers who
                      have been directly exposed to the Ebola virus without
                      the necessary protective gear or procedures.  These
                      individuals have a higher probability of becoming ill
                      and a home quarantine is the most responsible way in
                      which to manage this situation.”

                      The guidance on Friday was issued in light of the
                      need for direction to local health departments about
                      following up on passenger returning from Sierra
                      Leone, Guinea and Liberia. The Centers for Disease
                      Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to issue guidance
                      on this topic soon.

                      The IDPH guidance calls for a 21-day home quarantine
                      for any returning traveler who has had high-risk
                      exposures to Ebola.

                      High-risk in this context refers to anyone who:

                      • Had unprotected (percutaneous or mucous membrane)
                      contact with infectious blood or body fluids of an
                      Ebola patient.
                      • Made direct skin contact with blood or body fluids
                      of an Ebola patient without appropriate personal
                      protective equipment (PPE).
                      • Processed blood or body fluids of an Ebola patient
                      without appropriate equipment or standard biosafety
                      • Made direct contact with the dead body of an Ebola
                      patient without appropriate PPE.
                      • Lived with or shared a household with an Ebola
                      patient in an outbreak affected country.

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