Many questions have emerged pertaining to how acupuncturists should deal with the threat of Ebola. Your state association wants you to be aware of late breaking news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the message set forth by one of its epidemiologists with special CDC Ebola training. This epidemiologist states that the CDC has only published official guidelines for acute care facilities. However, more recently, the CDC addressed outpatient facilities that include acupuncture practices. We wanted to provide you with the following information and key resources to assist you to educate your patients, your staff, and your professional and student practitioners.
Among the most important points made are the following:
- Ancillary services, such as acupuncture clinics, should have a plan of action.
- Before treating clients, ask if they have been in areas affected by Ebola during the past 21 days.
- Ask if they have been in contact with anyone else who has been in areas affected by Ebola in the past 21 days and has been sick or experiencing any fever.
- If the answer is yes, ask the patient to step into a private area, after which a trained medical professional should complete further screening (call either a Health Department official or other contracted service).
- Patients are not contagious until they have a fever and do not feel well
- Even at the first signs of fever they are not contagious in general.
- If you screen patients and rule out any with risks of Ebola, clinical staff should be able to practice safely.
Given this vital information, it would be wise for acupuncturists to develop a plan as soon as possible. Access a checklist that you could use for patients with suspected Ebola Virus Disease in the United States.
Be aware of the instructive posters pertaining to Ebola developed by the CDC that can be hung in your clinic. Click on this link to access.
We recommend checking the CDC homepage for late-breaking information.