(RxWiki News) As the Ebola outbreak continues in West Africa, health officials in the US are asking health care workers to prepare to act if the disease spreads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a checklist to help hospitals prepare for Ebola cases.
The virus has not spread to the US, but the CDC stressed that being prepared will be key in treating the virus if it does reach US soil.
"Keep up with disease outbreaks both in the US and abroad."
"While we are not aware of any domestic [Ebola virus disease (EVD)] 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," according to the checklist.
At the time of publication, four Americans have been treated for Ebola infection in the US. Two of those patients made a full recovery, while the other two are currently being treated.
The CDC checklist is meant to prepare health care workers to respond to EVD. EVD is an often fatal virus marked by fever and bleeding. It is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids.
Reuters reports that the current outbreak has killed more than 2,400 people in West Africa.
Although it says on its website that the current outbreak does not pose a major threat to the US, the CDC urges health care workers to be prepared.
"The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure your hospital is able to detect possible EVD cases, protect your employees, and respond appropriately," the checklist says.
Among the many items in the checklist, the CDC says health care workers should "review infection control policies" and make "plans for administrative, environmental and communication measures, as well as personal protective equipment" to prepare.