Ebola: What US Clinicians Need to Know

Robert Glatter, MD

| Disclosures | August 04, 2014


As Ebola virus continues to spread across West Africa, an infected US physician has arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment, while a second infected American will leave Liberia on Tuesday for treatment at the same hospital. It is now important that all healthcare providers be well informed about this worsening epidemic.

In the past, most outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa have been localized and well contained. What distinguishes this outbreak, which began in March 2014, is its severity and larger area of spread.

When a traveler boarded a plane from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria, last week -- apparently becoming ill in flight and dying 5 days after landing -- it became more concerning that the spread of any disease could be just a plane ride away.

With a Level 3 travel advisory in place at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all nonessential travel to the region has been prohibited. Efforts to contain the spread of the virus have not been effective thus far, sparking an international effort involving the World Health Organization, CDC, and the United Nations. Additional need for healthcare professionals in rural areas, along with more modern equipment to help contain the virus, is essential, according to officials from the CDC.[1]

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC urges all US residents to avoid nonessential travel to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone because of an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/ebola-liberia Accessed August 4, 2014.

  2. Ebola virus. Pathogen safety data sheet - infectious substances. http://www.msdsonline.com/resources/msds-resources/free-safety-data-sheet-index/ebola-virus.aspx Accessed August 4, 2014.

  3. National Institutes of Health. NIAID Ebola vaccine enters human trial. NIH News. http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/nov2003/niaid-18.htm Accessed August 4, 2014.

  4. Warren TK, Wells J, Panchal RG, et al. Protection against filovirus diseases by a novel broad-spectrum nucleoside analogue BCX4430. Nature. 2014:508;402-405. Abstract

Authors and Disclosures


Robert D. Glatter, MD

Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Medscape Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Robert D. Glatter, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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