CDC tightens Ebola guidelines for healthcare workers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued more stringent guidelines for how healthcare workers should interact with Ebola patients, following an outcry from nurses and other professionals.

The new guidelines call for more training, a third-party observer to watch workers take off protective gear, and for no skin to be exposed during treatment. Long-term care facilities are not considered at high risk for treating Ebola patients. However, “out of an abundance of caution,” the emergency planning committee of the American Health Care Association has said members of the long-term care provider association “may want to review” the CDC guidelines.

The AHCA state association in Ohio also has posted more elaborate Ebola information. Healthcare facilities in that state have been especially vigilant, because one of the infected nurses traveled from Dallas to Cleveland while symptomatic.

The new directives come after two nurses contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died from the disease at a Dallas hospital earlier this month. After the nurses fell ill, nurse unions and other organizations heavily criticized the CDC and other government agencies for failing to implement appropriate risk mitigation measures.