Go Flight Medicine white logo

Ebola Guidance for Healthcare Workers (HCW’s)

Ebola Virus in the USA
Ebola Virus in the USA

Ebola has come to the United States!  First, an imported case from Africa and now two cases  transmitted within the country.  Making things worse, the first home-grown Ebola is a nurse named Nina Pham who willingly cared for a contagious and sick patient under constant threat of infection by the virus herself.  The second case was just reported on 15 Oct and actually traveled on commercial air from Dallas to Cleveland and back.  Our prayers go out to Nina Pham and the other HCW with Ebola as they continues to battle the deadly virus!  Latest reports suggest she is faring well.  For more info on who this selfless nurse is, CNN has prepared a short biographical video.  Be strong and recover soon, Nina.

This post is obviously not specific to aerospace medicine or any of the other medical niches usually covered on Go Flight Medicine, however, this is an issue critical to any medical provider currently.  A separate post was previously published and provides an overview of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever and the CDC guidelines regarding air travel.  That post is constantly being updated through frequent comments at the end of the post, so be sure to check those out on  regular frequency.

Nina Pham RN
Nina Pham RN

Health care workers remain a very high-risk group for transmission due to their close proximity to the contaminated fluids of symptomatic, contagious patients.  Of the almost 8,400 confirmed cases of Ebola in this outbreak, over 400 have been diagnosed in HCW’s.  The newest confirmed case in the United States was shocking for a number of reasons, but most importantly because the route of transmission is still being scrutinized.  The CDC maintains that there must have been a breach in protocol.  If you are a HCW, it is truly critical that you learn about this deadly virus before you encounter it.  Before panicking, however, be aware that your likelihood of actually treating an Ebola patient in the U.S. is exceedingly small.  Still, best to be prepared!

CNN – Ebola Basics for HCW’s – The Minimum You Need to Know



Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola
Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola

The CDC has admitted to not effectively educating HCW’s about Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever initially.  In response, there is an ever-increasing collection of resources on the CDC website written specifically for HCW’s.  For those of you who don’t want to bother with an extra click:

Protecting Healthcare Workers

Patient Evaluation

Ebola Response Algorithm
Ebola Response Algorithm

Laboratory (specimen collection, transport, testing, submission)


  • Ebola Contact Tracing
    Ebola Contact Tracing

Guidance & Recommendations

General Information



  1. CDC Information for Healthcare Workers – Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.  Accessed 14 Oct 2014.  

One comment

  1. Thanks for the info, I think the Ebola outbreak is scary but being overstated by the media. It’s spot on that healthcare workers need to be better prepared though.

Comments are closed.