Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever in humans, which is a severe and often fatal disease. Symptoms, including headache, high fever, unexplained bleeding, and vomiting, may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the virus; a person is only contagious when showing symptoms. Ebola is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or someone who has died of the disease. This puts family members and health care workers treating an Ebola-infected patient at the highest risk for contracting the virus. This, along with poor health care systems, lack of protective equipment, and inefficient removal of Ebola-infected bodies, has contributed to the outbreak in western Africa that has caused more than 16,000 infections.
While the health care system in the U.S. has been successful at containing Ebola virus infections and preventing its spread, the outbreak emphasizes the importance of infection control procedures being in place for hospitals and health care facilities. Nationally, about 75,000 people die from infections acquired while hospitalized, or HAIs. Infection control procedures are critical in preventing infections in hospitals and keeping patients and healthcare workers healthy, whether it’s an Ebola virus infection or something less life-threatening.
The CDC provides guidelines and procedures for hospitals handling infected or possibly infected Ebola patients in areas including emergency rooms, medical transport, laboratories, and infected control, which can all be found on the CDC Ebola Virus Webpage.
Because there are no EPA-registered disinfectants with claims against Ebola specifically, the CDC has recommended using a disinfectant with claims against a non-enveloped virus. The EPA has recently organized a list of all EPA-registered disinfectants with claims against non-enveloped viruses that are effective for infection control against Ebola, called List L. List L can be found on the EPA’s website.
Multi-Clean offers a disinfectant wipe, Century Q Wipes, which are listed on the EPA’s List L. For disinfecting procedures and a full list of claims, check out Multi-Clean’s Infection Control Webpage.