Ebola planning and preparation at UNC Hospitals, clinics

For months, preparations have been underway at UNC Hospitals and our clinics in case a patient presents with symptoms and a travel history consistent with Ebola Virus Disease.

Ebola planning and preparation at UNC Hospitals, clinics click to enlarge The flyer we are sharing with employees at UNC Hospitals and our clinics to help identify any potential cases of Ebola.

Facts about Ebola
Dr. Joyner Ebola Simulation
Dr. Benny Joyner introduces an Ebola preparation simulation for UNC Health Care employees at the Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center in the UNC School of Medicine.

  • Ebola is NOT spread through casual contact, air, water, or food grown or legally purchased in the U.S.
  • Ebola virus can be spread via direct contact with:
    • Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola (blood, vomit, urine, feces, sweat, semen, spit, other fluids)
    • Objects contaminated with the virus (needles, medical equipment)
    • Infected animals (by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat)

Ask, Isolate, Call - Staff help in identifying patients at risk for having Ebola
Dr. Fischer Ebola Simulation
Dr. Billy Fischer leads an Ebola simulation training for UNC Health Care employees at the UNC School of Medicine's Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center.

To identify any potential Ebola patients, the focus for employees at UNC Hospitals and our outpatient clinics is "Ask, Isolate, Call":

  • Ask all patients:
    • Have you traveled outside of the US within the last 30 days?
    • If yes, have you traveled to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Mali in the last 30 days?
    • Have you been near persons or remains of persons with a diagnosis of Ebola?
    • Have you had a fever, headache, or other typical symptoms of Ebola (joint and muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite)?
  • Isolate:
    • Any patient with a fever or clinically compatible illness (see symptom list above) who has been in any country affected by the Ebola outbreak within 30 days of symptom onset should be placed immediately in a private room and given a mask to wear.
  • Call:
    • Call Hospital Epidemiology immediately 24/7 for any suspected case of Ebola (phone = 919-966-1636, pager = 123-7427).
    • Infection Control and/or the Ebola Care Team will respond ASAP and lead the care of the isolated patient.

Caring for patients with Ebola
Ebola Simulation Training
Dr. Billy Fischer talks about proper PPE use during a Ebola simulation training conducted at the UNC School of Medicine's Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center.

A group of experts at UNC Hospitals and the UNC School of Medicine is meeting regularly to ensure all appropriate individuals are trained and equipped to protect patients, guests, the community, and each other if we receive a patient with Ebola.

Additionally, an inpatient location for care has been designated at UNC Hospitals if needed. This area will have space for patient care, point-of-care laboratory testing, equipment storage, and separate areas for donning and doffing PPE.

Our Ebola Coordinating Group is chaired by Dr. David Weber, medical director of Hospital Epidemiology, and co-chaired by Dr. Billy Fischer, Assistant Professor of Medicine, who treated Ebola patients in West Africa this summer. We are working in close consultation with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Our experts on Ebola
Ebola Simulation Exercise
Dr. Billy Fischer talks with UNC Health Care medical staff during an Ebola simulation exercise held at the UNC School of Medicine's Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center.

Both Dr. Weber and Dr. Fischer have given many media interviews about Ebola over the last few months. We have provided links to those in the right column of this page.

Here is one of Dr. Fischer's recent interviews, on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 show:

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Questions

UNC Hospitals' employees can submit questions using Glad You Asked at this link.

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