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CDC Tells US Doctors: Prepare for Ebola

CDC logoEven though there are no reported cases of ebola in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out a warning to hospitals and doctors that “now is the time to prepare” for cases that are likely to appear at any time.

The Washington Examiner is reporting that the CDC issued a six-page ebola checklist to U.S. healthcare workers to assist them in preparing for patients who are infected with the deadly hemorrhagic fever.

"While the CDC does not believe that there are new cases of Ebola in the United States, the assumption in the checklist is that it is only a matter of time before the virus hits home," the Examiner reports.

The checklist makes a variety of recommendations such as how healthcare personnel should use a "buddy system" when caring for patients, the proper way to report cases to officials, as well as preparing isolation, quarantine and exposure reports and dealing with supplies and logistical challenges.

The checklist has been distributed to all major hospitals and healthcare centers in the U.S.

“Every hospital should ensure that it can detect a patient with Ebola, protect healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and respond in a coordinated fashion,” warns the CDC.

“While we are not aware of any domestic Ebola Virus Disease cases (other than two American citizens who were medically evacuated to the United States), now is the time to prepare, as it is possible that individuals with EVD in West Africa may travel to the United States, exhibit signs and symptoms of EVD, and present to facilities,” it adds.

Plans are already in place to protect travelers to the U.S. who may be on board an aircraft with a person suspected of being infected with EVD.

"On the remote possibility that an ill traveler arrives the U.S., CDC has protocols in place to protect against further spread of disease," the document reads. "These include notification to CDC of ill travelers on a plane before arrival, evaluation of ill travelers, isolation and transport to a medical facility if needed. CDC, along with Customs & Border Patrol, have also provided guidance to airlines for managing ill passengers and crew and for disinfecting aircraft."

Click here to view a complete copy of the warning.

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