Ebola Information for Healthcare Providers

Ebola, also known as Ebola Virus Disease, is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers and is a rare and deadly viral illness. Early recognition of symptoms and strict adherence to infection control practices are critical to controlling the spread of Ebola. To date, there have been no cases of Ebola in Rhode Island.

What We Are Doing

From October 17, 2014 to December 29, 2015, at the direction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health (RIDOH) was monitoring the movement of individuals who traveled from Ebola-affected areas to Rhode Island. The goal of the monitoring process was to coordinate and provide care for individuals as soon as possible in the event that they began to display Ebola symptoms. Monitoring lasted 21 days from the traveler’s date of departure from the affected country. As of December 29, 2015, active and direct active monitoring has ceased. More

What You Should Do

Remain alert and evaluate for Persons Under Investigation

You should continue to remain alert and evaluate any patients suspected of having Ebola as a result of international travel within the last 21 days, and other epidemiologic risk factors. Consider Ebola if:

  • The patient has travelled internationally within the last 21 days; or
  • The patient has history of exposure to a person with Ebola within the last 21 days and the patient has a fever and other symptoms consistent with Ebola.

Early symptoms of Ebola, such as fever, are often seen in more common infectious diseases, such as malaria. A full investigation of other potential causes of the patient’s signs and symptoms should occur without delay in patient care. More

Follow Maximum Infection Control Protocols for Persons Under Investigation for Ebola

Persons Under Investigation, or PUIs, include patients for whom a diagnosis of Ebola is being considered. PUIs should be isolated in a single room with a private bathroom, and healthcare personnel should follow enhanced standard, contact, and droplet precautions, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment. You must report any suspect case of Ebola to RIDOH at (401) 222-2577 or (401) 272-5952 (after hours). If PUI criteria are met and the patient is not at an assessment hospital, RIDOH staff will arrange for transportation of the patient to an assessment hospital where laboratory testing and further evaluation will be performed. More

Provide Supportive Care

There are no approved treatments available for Ebola. Clinical management should only occur at an assessment hospital or Ebola and Other Special Pathogen Treatment Center. Clinical management would focus on supportive care for complications, such as hypovolemia, electrolyte abnormalities, hematologic abnormalities, refractory shock, hypoxia, hemorrhage, septic shock, multi-organ failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC).

Recommended care includes volume repletion, maintenance of blood pressure (with vasopressors if needed), and maintenance of oxygenation, pain control, nutritional support, as well as treating secondary bacterial infections and pre-existing comorbidities. More

Prepare and Train Staff

The Rhode Island Department of Health is working closely with healthcare providers and emergency medical services in hospitals and outpatient settings to ensure that they are fully prepared to care for PUIs and Ebola patients.