Author: SHEA
Date Published:10/26/2014 1:22:00 PM
Publication Format:
Abstract:

For Immediate Release: October 26, 2014
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Contact: Kristy Weinshel/ kweinshel@shea-online.org/ 703-684-1008

SHEA Supports Evidence-Based Measures to Prevent Ebola Transmission, Opposes Mandatory Quarantine for Healthcare Personnel

ARLINGTON, Va. (October 26) – The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) remains deeply concerned about the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. The recent news about Dr. Craig Spencer’s infection, along with the infections of the many other healthcare personnel (HCP) who have risked their lives to provide care during this tragic outbreak, illustrates how difficult it is to protect HCP serving patients with severe EVD.

SHEA supports the recent infection prevention guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the commitment healthcare facilities across the country have made to train and prepare their teams for the care of patients with EVD.  SHEA continues to support the rigorous application of evidence-based measures to prevent EVD transmission. Based upon the strong evidence that Ebola is not transmitted by those who do not have symptoms of EVD, we do not support mandatory quarantine of individuals, including HCP, who have provided care for patients with EVD.  Our concern is about both the ramifications for HCP returning from West Africa and the potential application of this quarantine to all HCP caring for patients with EVD.  SHEA believes that mandatory quarantine will lead to fewer volunteers and increased difficulty in assembling care teams in West Africa and in other countries, including the United States, preparing to care for EVD patients.

SHEA supports the active monitoring (twice daily, for fever and symptoms of EVD) of all HCP providing care for EVD patients, including returnees from Ebola outbreak areas in West Africa. Mandatory quarantine should only be implemented for those who do not adhere to such monitoring.

SHEA continues to work with the CDC and all relevant stakeholders to ensure the safety of HCP and to promote positive outcomes for those who contract Ebola. 

###

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.