Author: SHEA
Date Published:10/14/2014 9:33:00 AM
Publication Format:
Abstract:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristy Weinshel
(703) 684-1008 
kweinshel@shea-online.org

Newest Ebola Case in a Health Care Worker Points to Need for Increased Funding for Infection Prevention Programs

Arlington, Va. (October 14, 2014) – The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) is concerned by recent confirmation of Ebola contracted by a healthcare worker treating an Ebola patient at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.  Our thoughts are with the healthcare worker and her family, as well as the team of healthcare providers at Texas Presbyterian, as they work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services to prevent further spread of the disease.

SHEA believes that the current Ebola epidemic illustrates the need for increased funding for hospital epidemiology and infection prevention programs worldwide.  Because Ebola transmission risk is highest during severe illness, transmission of Ebola to caregivers has been a major feature of most prior Ebola outbreaks. Increased resources for infection prevention programs will improve response not only to Ebola but to countless other infectious diseases and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) that threaten our patients and healthcare workers. The complexity of ensuring 100% adherence to infection control practices, particularly around personal protective equipment (PPE), points to the need for improved training of healthcare workers across all practice settings.

"A robust infection prevention program, led by a physician with advanced training in infectious diseases, is essential for patient safety," said Daniel Diekema, MD, SHEA board of trustees president.  "Dedicated funding at the hospital, state and national levels for infection prevention programs helps protect patients and healthcare workers from both Ebola and other healthcare-associated infections."

SHEA has created a webpage outlining the key resources available on Ebola, Ebola Infection Control Resources.

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SHEA is a global professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals with expertise and passion for healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention to improve patient care in all healthcare settings. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society advances its mission through advocacy, science and research, expert guidelines and guidance on key issues, the exchange of knowledge, and high-quality education.  SHEA focuses resources on promoting antimicrobial stewardship, ensuring a safe healthcare environment, encouraging transparency in public reporting related to HAIs, focused efforts on prevention and more. Visit SHEA online at www.shea-online.org, www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.