Regional News from WTAJ
Is self-monitoring enough for people who've been exposed to Ebola, but are showing no symptoms? Some top health officials now seem to be questioning whether more restrictions should have been put on on the movements of Dr. Craig Spencer, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in New York City. Doctors Without Borders, the group Spencer had been working with in Africa, says the physician followed guidelines since returning to the United States. Spencer was taking his temperature twice a day and watching for Ebola symptoms like fever, headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. And he did what he was supposed to, notifying authorities as soon as he detected a low-grade fever.
Still, some question whether doctor Spencer should have been able to move about so freely given his potential exposure, and Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health, indicated possible changes could be on the way. "That is something that is, right now, under very active discussion and you will be hearing shortly about what the guidelines will be," he said.
According to the CDC, only people considered high risk are quarantined, for example, having exposure to Ebola patients, without wearing the correct protective gear. Spencer posted a picture of himself in Guinea wearing his equipment.
Doctors Without Borders encourages doctors returning from West Africa to stay away from their usual jobs for 21 days, which is something Dr. Spencer also adhered to.
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and its nurse alliance announced Friday that they're taking steps to make sure medical personnel get the proper training and equipment to deal with Ebola.
The Nurse Alliance of SEIU-Pennsylvania says its working to keep members up to date with the most accurate information and to collaborate with local hospitals. The group says members are evaluating each facility's plan, taking steps to ensure that the frontline staff is protected, and group working with management to ensure compliance with updated guidelines.
"Frontline nurses are the backbone of any healthcare facility and an incredibly effective agent in responding to a health crisis such as Ebola," said Deborah Bonn, RN, director of the Nurse Alliance of SEIU-Pennsylvania. "It is critical that nurses are given the correct tools and training when responding to such a deadly virus in order to not only protect the health and well-being of caregivers, but also to ensure the virus doesn't spread."
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