On July 18, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a California Health Advisory Update on Ebola — one day after the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo to be a public health emergency of international concern.
CDPH is closely monitoring the outbreak and is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on preparedness planning and response.
The CDPH update notes that the risk for importation of Ebola into California remains very low but is not zero, and reminds health care providers and facilities to take a number of steps, including:
- Be prepared to identify, isolate, and notify the local public health department of suspected cases of Ebola and other highly communicable infectious diseases.
- Routinely ask patients with signs or symptoms of acute and possibly infectious illness about recent travel. Travel history can inform necessary infection control measures when an infectious disease, including Ebola, is suspected.
- Take precautions if Ebola is suspected in a patient based on travel history and clinical presentation, including:
- Immediately isolating the patient in a private room with an in-room bathroom or covered bedside commode
- Rapidly notifying the local public health department
- Minimize the number of health care providers who have contact with the patient and limit their contact to providing essential patient care.
- Rigorously document all health care provider contact with the patient.
CDPH and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health gave a presentation to frontline health care providers on Ebola in May 2019. Additionally, CDPH maintains a website on Ebola where additional guidance, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can be found.