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Infection Control 

With the outbreak of the Ebola Virus becoming an ever closer concern for all of us, there is an increasing need for all our Nurses and Carers to maintain and operate strict infection control and indeed be vigilant in their own life styles as well as following strict procedures when assisting all service users. 
 
Please remember spreading infection generally is because of a lack of infection control routine and maintaining procedures is critical. Washing your hands thoroughly and drying on clean towels within the home or unused paper disposable towels, or purpose warm air facilities when in public, or other one off useable alternative products as provided. 
 
Be aware when arriving at a patients house or returning home, to wash hands before doing anything else. Infection points include cash points, card terminals and steering wheels. Keep mobile phones or work environment phones continually wiped with sterile wipes. Boots are amongst stockists for the wipes. 
 
When dealing with patients and service users wash hands before putting on gloves, then put on aprons, then shoe covers all of these we provide. Take the protective clothing off in that same order, lastly your gloves which should be turned inside out 1 glove first, placed inside the other glove then turn the two gloves together. There are many separate infection control leaflets explaining the process. Then wash your hands. 
 
Do not transfer any PPC from one house to another during your rounds and inform the office when replenishing is required. 
 
Key facts - Ebola 
• Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. 
• The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. 
• It is reported that the average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. 
• The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests, but the most recent outbreak in west Africa has involved major urban as well as rural areas. 
• Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation. 
• Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is as yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development. 
• There are currently no licensed Ebola vaccines but 2 potential candidates are undergoing evaluation.