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Nebraska Biocontainment Unit patient discharge and environmental decontamination after Ebola care

Published:January 27, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2014.12.005
      The Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU), which operates through collaboration of Nebraska Medicine, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, recently treated patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) evacuated from West Africa to the United States. EVD is transmitted by contact with infected blood or bodily fluids with an infectious dose of <10 viruses and high virus concentrations in blood 108 virus particles/mL.
      • Iwen P.C.
      • Garrett J.L.
      • Gibbs S.G.
      • Lowe J.J.
      • Herrera V.L.
      • Sambol A.R.
      • et al.
      An integrated approach to laboratory testing for patients with ebola virus disease.
      Although negative for virus by molecular testing (quantitative polymerase chain reaction [qPCR] assay), discharged NBU patients successfully treated for EVD are at risk of touching EVD contaminated surfaces within the patient room and may serve as a disease vector to areas outside of isolation on discharge from the unit. Additionally, EVD patient remains are infectious and require safe and respectful infection control measures. To manage risks posed by EVD, the NBU uses infection control protocols that guide all steps of patient release, removal of patient remains, waste disposal, and systematic environmental decontamination that involves waste removal, surface cleaning, and multiple steps of disinfection.
      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      Interim guidance for environmental infection control in hospitals for Ebola virus.
      • Lowe J.J.
      • Gibbs S.G.
      • Schwedhelm S.S.
      • Nguyen J.
      • Smith P.W.
      Nebraska Biocontainment Unit perspective on disposal of Ebola medical waste.
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