What can you do to protect yourself? Avoid the blood or body fluids of another individual, especially those with symptoms that might indicate infection with Ebolavirus. This is tricky, however, because symptoms often resemble those of other illnesses, at least initially. Exposure to ebolaviruses can occur in health care settings where personnel are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak. Shaking hands may not be the best policy, either. More on that next week.
Medical professionals in the United States are advised to consult the Interim Guidance for Managing Patients with Suspected Viral Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals [PDF - 60KB].