Federal health officials on Monday issued new guidelines to promote head-to-toe protection for health workers treating Ebola patients.
Officials have been scrambling to come up with new advice since two Dallas nurses became infected while caring for the first person diagnosed with the virus in the United States.
Workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were trying to follow earlier CDC guidance. Organizations representing nurses and other health workers have pressed the CDC, saying the old advice was confusing and inadequate, and health workers felt afraid and unprepared.
It’s not clear exactly how the two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital became infected, but clearly there was some kind of problem, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The bottom line is the guidelines didn’t work for that hospital,” Frieden said, in announcing the revised guidelines Monday evening.
Earlier CDC guidelines had been based on a model of how to treat Ebola patients in Africa, which sometimes has occurred in tents. They also allowed hospitals some flexibility to use available covering when dealing with suspected Ebola patients.
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