And he promised any hospital that receives an Ebola patient that CDC will help with a special response team. “We will put a team on the ground within hours with some of the world’s leading experts on how to take care of and prevent health workers form Ebola virus infection,” Frieden said.
“I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed. That might have prevented this infection,” Frieden added. “But we are prepared to do this in the future with any case anywhere in the U.S.”
More patients with Ebola are likely to turn up in the US so long as the epidemic continues in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, Frieden says. The World Health Organization says nearly 9,000 people have been infected and more than 4,400 have died.
CDC will also recommend that the hospital limit the number of staffers treating Pham, both so they can become very familiar with how to safely care for her and to make sure they are systematic in putting on and taking off gear.
“I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed. That might have prevented this infection.”
“By sending two of our nurses who have been directly involved in the care of Emory patients infected with the Ebola virus, we hope to provide on the ground standard operating procedures for PPE usage, based on CDC guidelines,” Nancye Feistritzer, chief nursing officer at Emory University Hospital, said in a statement.
“We also want to be a resource to other organizations who are facing the need to train direct care providers and to ensure adherence to protocols designed to keep the care team safe.”
Cindy Zolnierek, Executive Director of Texas Nurses Association, said the group was pleased to hear that Pham is doing well, and emphasized that all hospitals must be prepared in case another patient turns up. But she said that’s something nurses are trained to do.
“Nurses deal with infectious disease every day in their line of work,” she told a press conference Tuesday. She said given the right support, training and equipment, she was confident nurses were able to care for Ebola patients. “They’re fundamentally prepared to care for patients with infectious disease.”
First published October 14 2014, 11:43 AM
Maggie Fox is senior health writer for NBCNews.com and TODAY.com, writing top news on health policy, medical treatments and disease.
She’s a former managing editor for healthcare and technology at National Journal and global health and science editor for Reuters based in Washington, D.C. and London.
She’s reported for news agencies, radio, newspapers, magazines and television from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe covering news ranging from war to politics and, of course, health and science. Her reporting has taken Maggie to Lebanon, Syria and Libya; to China, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan; to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia and to Ireland and Northern Ireland and across the rest of Europe.
Maggie has won awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers, the National Immunization Program, the Overseas Press Club and other organizations. She’s done fellowships at Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland.