How extra Ebola precautions could backfire

Healthcare providers' precautions against the Ebola virus may have the opposite of the intended effect, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine. For example, if healthcare workers must wear unfamiliar personal protective equipment, they may self-contaminate while removing it. Mandatory HazMat suits and respirators will likely make it more difficult for providers to examine and test patients, and could curtail patient-provider contact. Moreover, these measures may harm patients without Ebola, since providers must take such precautions for all suspected cases even though patients from West Africa with fevers are far more likely to have malaria or other infections. "More insidiously, requiring precautions that exceed the CDC's [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] recommendations fans a culture of mistrust and cynicism about our nation's public health agency," the researchers write. Report