The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is ramping up its acquisition of protective gear for U.S. hospitals that may have to handle Ebola patients, following a “sudden increase” in demand on its current national stockpile.
The federal health agency said in a November 7 statement that it is ordering an additional $2.7 million in personal protective equipment that will eventually be fashioned into 50 kits that can be deployed rapidly to hospitals if or when needed.
As reported by Reuters:
Some U.S. orders of protective equipment have been backlogged amid growing domestic demand, as manufacturers prioritize a flood of requests from aid agencies trying to curb the outbreak in West Africa.
Last month, the CDC altered its guidelines for healthcare workers who are charged with taking care of Ebola patients, tightening procedures and adding requirements for fluid-resistant gowns, a head-covering hood, gloves, shoe coverings and a face mask. The updated guidance is located online here.
The press release stated:
Each kit can provide the PPE needed by clinical teams to manage the care of one Ebola patient for up to five days.
Gear being added to the ‘Strategic National Stockpile’
The agency says the kits can be “rapidly delivered” to any hospital engaged in treating Ebola patients.
“We are making certain to not disrupt the orders submitted by states and hospitals, but we are building our stocks so that we can assist when needed,” said Greg Burel, director of CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile, in the press release.
According to the agency, the increased protective equipment will be added to the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile, or SNS. The agency says there are “alternatives” to recommended equipment that can by utilized by hospital personnel in the event certain PPE (personal protective equipment) items are not available. Those alternatives are included in the agency’s published guidance (see online link above).
CDC officials said they are continuing to coordinate the production of the additional equipment with manufacturers. Also, the agency is in touch with distributors and healthcare facilities to monitor the supplies of PPE that are already in the logistics chain.
“No products are being held by manufacturers or distributors specifically for SNS orders, and SNS orders are not being prioritized ahead of orders placed by hospitals,” the press release said. The CDC added that hospitals ought to coordinate with appropriate state health agencies if they need to request PPE supplies from the agency to care for Ebola patients. “The state health department will follow the established protocol for submitting this request to CDC,” the release concluded.
A medical doctor who returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa in October is the last person to have been diagnosed with the disease on American soil. The physician, Dr. Craig Spencer, is still being quarantined and monitored, reports said.
Triple the number of people being monitored in NYC than reported
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Big Apple, NBC 4 New York reports that health authorities are monitoring “triple” the number of people initially reported as being watched for the virus:
The vast majority of those being monitored arrived in New York City within the past 21 days from the three Ebola-affected countries, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement.
Included in those being monitored — understandably — are all the healthcare staffers who are taking care of Spencer.
Meanwhile, the mainstream media has agreed not to report new suspected cases of Ebola infection, ostensibly in response to a government request. But that should surprise no one; the media is complicit in just about everything Big Government asks of it (if the right party is in the White House, of course).
Thus far, Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people around the world; most of those deaths have occurred in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, some of the African continent’s poorest countries. While the virus has not “officially” been declared airborne yet, it can be spread through the air via coughs and sneezes. Also, it is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids like blood, sweat, saliva and tears.
Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com