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Ebola Scare: Should We Be Concerned?

Has the media whipped up enough pandemonium to get everybody running for the nearest exit and away from or demanding immediate action to the latest healthcare crisis “Ebola”? In short, Ebola is a disease that attacks the immune system, and is passed by body fluids. Politicians are weighing in and pointing fingers. Czars are appointed, and hysteria reigns. Truth is in the mid 1970’s there was an Ebola outbreak in Sudan and Zaire, Africa (“Ebola” is named after a river in Zaire Africa), maybe we should have taken it more seriously then. It infected over 284 people and over half of them succumbed to the virus. Since then, there have been other outbreaks of different strains. A third strain “EBOR” even paid a visit to the USA in 1989 coming from infected monkeys.

So why the sudden concern? Perhaps the mounting numbers or perhaps we have seen the Symptoms_of_eboladreaded disease actually claim a life here in the USA, with more cases reported, although minimal. In Africa however the numbers are almost staggering. Some headline seeking politicians are even calling for a quasi-quarantine by restricting or banning travel to and from the offending country. What they need is our help and prayers.

So how does or how should this affect us as Safety Advocates and Professionals? We need to be proactive and develop an overall general “staying healthy in the work environment plan”. The flu season is bearing down on us, and avoiding the flu can be similar in that proper sanitation is the key, both personal and environmental. Proper hand washing, sanitizing work surfaces where practical, more than periodic cleaning and sanitizing of the restrooms, checking air filtration systems, and EDUCATION. Make your employees more aware of coughing and sneezing, and make sure they have the proper Blood Borne Pathogens training. Encourage your employees to get a flu shot and to make sure the rest of their inoculations are up to date, eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids. All this will help to improve overall immunity to illness and disease.

For more information on Ebola signs and symptoms check out Mayo Clinic. We do need to keep ourselves informed and educated. Get involved with other healthcare initiatives in your hometown and workplace. If you have school age children teach them proper techniques for washing hands, don’t send them to school if flu symptoms are apparent, and covering up if coughing or sneezing. We do have a lot to consider as we look out for each other regardless of nationality.

Give your employees a healthy work environment and make their safety a number one priority with a safety program you can trust. Visit safetyinstruction.com for all of your safety training and supply needs! From everyone at SafetyInstruction, make it a safe day!

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