NEW YORK – While the Centers for Disease Control has removed from its website a warning that Ebola can be spread through sneezing, the World Health Organization has just issued new guidelines for health workers that specify protective equipment should be worn to protect the mouth, nose and eyes from contaminated droplets and fluids.
The WHO guidelines are based on a review of care of Ebola patients, the U.N. agency said.
Meanwhile, Friday, the CDC website removed a “Fact Sheet” posted Thursday that stirred controversy by admitting after weeks of apparent denial that Ebola can be spread by coughing and sneezing.
The WHO said the Guidelines Development Group it convened included participation of a wide range of experts from international organizations, including the CDC, Doctors without Borders and the Infection Control Africa Network.
“These guidelines hold an important role in clarifying effective personal protective equipment options that protect the safety of healthcare workers and patients from Ebola virus disease transmission,” says Edward Kelley, WHO director for service delivery and safety.
“Paramount to the guidelines’ effectiveness is the inclusion of mandatory training on the putting on, taking off and decontaminating of PPE, followed by mentoring for all users before engaging in any clinical care.”
The guidance posted by the CDC Thursday, captured by NaturalNews.com, said “droplets of the virus can travel short distances, less than 3 feet [one meter] from person to person.”
It further disclosed that a person “might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their nose or mouth.”
Mike Adams, writing at NaturalNews.com, commented that the fact sheet meant “the CDC is now admitting it lied all along” by denying the Ebola virus could be spread by “indirect transmission routes,” including sneezing and coughing. The CDC, he said, had insisted Ebola can only be spread by “direct contact” with the body or bodily fluids of an Ebola-infected person.
The same CDC fact sheet also acknowledged Ebola can contaminate objects, saying “a person might also get infected by touching a surface or object that has germs on it and then touching their mouth or nose.”
Dr. Rossi Hassard, a professor of epidemiology at Mercy College, was quoted by the New York Post saying droplets of the Ebola virus could remain active on surfaces such as a table or doorknob.
The removal of the fact sheet was merely the most recent in a series of public reversals.
On Tuesday, the CDC issued guidance for health care workers specifying new procedures for Emergency Medical Services when handling Ebola patients in ambulance transfers that admitted “lessons had been learned from the recent experience caring for patients with Ebola in U.S. healthcare settings.”
On Oct. 20, reacting to the two nurses who contracted Ebola in Texas after treating patient Thomas Eric Duncan, the CDC “tightened guidance” for U.S. health care workers, specifying no skin should be exposed and all workers be properly trained and supervised by a monitor as they put on and remove personal protective equipment.
Then, on Thursday, as a result of the developing controversy of nurse Kaci Hickox’s refusal to comply with state-imposed quarantine requirements after retuning to the U.S. from West Africa, the CDC issued new guidance for “active monitoring” of persons with potential exposure to Ebola, including daily phone calls to state health authorities to report their temperatures and possibly even state-imposed travel restrictions
The apparent “learning on the fly” cast suspicion on continued reassurances by CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden that the CDC had all necessary procedures in place, and Ebola would be contained in the United States if health care officials and workers followed CDC recommendations precisely.
Then, when nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson contracted Ebola after treating Duncon, the CDC appeared to blame the nurses, suggesting they became infected because they didn’t follow CDC “safety protocols” for treating Ebola patients.
The assertion that CDC protocols were sufficient was undermined when the CDC issued new guidelines specifying health care workers treating Ebola patients must have every inch of their bodies covered by protective equipment and that trained supervisors were needed to monitor workers as they put on and took off the equipment.
Still today, the CDC continues to hold the line that there is no risk Ebola can be airborne transmitted.
Yet, as reported by WND, the U.S. Army has published a widely used medical management handbook, now in its seventh edition, that warns viral hemorrhagic fever, the category of viruses that includes Ebola, can be an airborne threat in certain circumstances.