FTC has received calls from some of our healthcare clients regarding filtration and the transmission of the Ebola virus. At this time the CDC guidance tells us that the Ebola virus is generally transmissible through direct contact with an infected individual.
Below are the transmission Q&A’s from the CDC website:
What are body fluids?
Ebola has been detected in blood and many body fluids. Body fluids include saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen.
Can Ebola spread by coughing? By sneezing?
Unlike respiratory illnesses like measles or chickenpox, which can be transmitted by virus particles that remain suspended in the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes, Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of a person who has symptoms of Ebola disease. Although coughing and sneezing are not common symptoms of Ebola, if a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person’s eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease.
What does “direct contact” mean?
Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.
How long does Ebola live outside the body?
Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dried on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.
Are patients who recover from Ebola immune for life? Can they get it again – the same or a different strain?
Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and a patient’s immune response. Available evidence shows that people who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, possibly longer.
We don’t know if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola.
If someone survives Ebola, can he or she still spread the virus?
Once someone recovers from Ebola, they can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. People who recover from Ebola are advised to abstain from sex or use condoms for 3 months.
Can Ebola be spread through mosquitos?
There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus.
For those facilities that would like to increase their capabilities in creating negative pressure environments we have containment units with HEPA and UV systems available. We also provide replacement HEPA filtration for all models of negative pressure containment units. Please contact our main office at 1-800-874-1045, or your local representative with any questions.