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Emergency Medical Services Public Health Implications and Interim Guidance for the Ebola Virus in the United States

  • Author(s): McCoy, Christopher E.
  • Lotfipour, Shahram
  • Chakravarthy, Bharath
  • Schultz, Carl
  • Barton, Erik
  • et al.
Abstract

The 25th known outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is now a global public health emergency and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the epidemic to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Since the first cases of the West African epidemic were reported in March 2014, there has been an increase in infection rates of over 13,000% over a 6-month period. The Ebola virus has now arrived in the United States and public health professionals, doctors, hospitals, Emergency Medial Services Administrators, Medical Directors, and policy makers have been working with haste to develop strategies to prevent the disease from reaching epidemic proportions. Prehospital care providers (emergency medical technicians and paramedics) and medical first responders (including but not limited to firefighters and law enforcement) are the healthcare systems front lines when it comes to first medical contact with patients outside of the hospital setting. Risk of contracting Ebola can be particularly high in this population of first responders if the appropriate precautions are not implemented. This article provides a brief clinical overview of the Ebola Virus Disease and provides a comprehensive summary of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPS) for Management of Patients with Known of Suspected Ebola Virus Disease in the United States. [West J Emerg Med. 2014;15(7):-0.]

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