Hospitals around the world take extra precautions against Ebola

As concerns increase over the Ebola outbreak, hospitals across the globe take precautions that go beyond experts' recommendations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For example, in Charlotte, North Carolina, three missionaries who returned from Liberia this week and had contact with Ebola patients were quarantined at their organization by order of the Mecklenburg County Department of Health, despite having a clean bill of health. Quarantining people without symptoms is not standard procedure, but "we want to go the extra mile," Stephen Keener, the department's medical director, told the WSJ.

The employees--two doctors and the husband of an infected American already evacuated to the U.S.--are under quarantine until 21 days pass since their exposure, the virus' longest possible incubation period. The extra precautions are "so the public can be reassured of how we're handling this," said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, the missionaries' employer, told the WSJ.

Other doctors and providers take precautions associated with diseases that spread through the air, although Ebola is transmitted through contact with a patient's bodily fluids. They say the threat posed by the virus justifies the extra measures. "Ebola has a higher mortality rate among those infected and it's very important that all exposures are prevented," said David Kuhar, who leads the infection control team for the Ebola response at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two Americans who contracted Ebola in Liberia are currently being treated in Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Emory CEO Bob Bachman told WSB-TV he was confident in the precautions the hospital took to prevent further spread, adding that the hospital "felt a moral obligation" to treat the patients, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Others suggested that the threat is not patients known to be infected with the virus, but hospitals admitting patients who may have potentially contracted it without knowing.

To learn more:
- read the WSJ article

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