Preventing Ebola Transmission

Chapter 166 [1] in the new Mandell textbook was written before the current Ebola outbreak, so I thought it would be interesting to read View Postit again and check whether the ‘old’ recommendations for personal protection were still valid now that we have learned much more during the ongoing outbreak.

 Direct Contact Transmission Involves body-surface to body-surface contact and physical transfer of microorganisms between a susceptible person (host) and an infected or colonized person [2]

In this chapter, the Short View Summary states right upfront:

  • Barrier nursing procedures include wearing protective clothing, masks, and eye shields
  • Isolation of infected patients and close contacts is essential

Well, it sounds basic but 10,000 cases later I find little to add to these statements:  these two points really capture what we need to do.

 Indirect Contact Transmission Involves contact of susceptible person (host) with a contaminated intermediate object such as needles, dressings, gloves or contaminated (unwashed) hands [2]

Maybe we learned that it is hard to implement strict isolation techniques in rural Africa and in US hospitals as well.  It is still all about strictest adherence to contact precautions, training in isolation procedures, and eliminating – as much as possible – any chances for human error.


[1] T Geisbert. Marburg and Ebola Hemorrhagic Fevers (Filoviruses).  Mandell’s PPIP 2014

[2] Excerpted from: Minnesota Department of Health;

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.