A second Ebola case was announced this week in Texas-the first ever confirmed transmission of the virus within the borders of the United States. This seems like dire news. And although it is indeed an increasingly serious situation, Priorclave North America president Bernie Youngblood is confident that there is no call for panic.
Ebola: No Cause for Panic
Mr. Youngblood spent last week at the 57th annual conference of the American Biological Safety Association. The members of ABSA have dedicated their lives to the field of biosafety. They work to improve the safety protocols that are vital to protecting medical workers and researchers, and preventing the spread of viruses like Ebola as we search for treatments.
“The mood at the conference was subdued,” Mr. Youngblood notes, “Not because there is no cause for concern, but because these people work with threats like these every day.”
Conference attendees voiced their confidence in existing and enhanced safeguards to contain the spread of Ebola here in the U.S. They see no reason for panic. Their calm demeanors during discussions on the topic of Ebola are a mere reflection of the frequency with which they address biological threats like these. There was a clear sense at ABSA that they are looking at this recent outbreak as a biomedical hurdle that is daunting, but by no means insurmountable.
Priorclave sterilizers have long been on the front lines in Africa. At this very moment, factory representatives from Priorclave’s UK manufacturing facility are in West Africa medical clinics, installing and servicing Priorclave autoclaves, and training staff in the latest validated sterilization procedures.
Fortunately, while Ebola is a highly contagious virus-as demonstrated by these recent outbreaks in Liberia and Sierra Leone-it is also quite possible to break that chain of contagion, especially at the very early stages. The same precautions that help prevent the spread of seasonal flu apply here and include:
- Avoiding areas where infection is wide-spread (West Africa and international airports that service those areas)
- Avoiding unnecessary personal contact (particularly with people you do not know)
- Taking common precautions: Wash hands regularly (especially before eating), limit hand-to-face contact, sneeze into the crook of the elbow, etc.
Stay calm, do your part, and remember: Humans have survived for many thousands of years against a variety of even more serious threats. This is one more hurdle that we shall overcome.