With widespread media coverage of the recent spread of Ebola Virus from Africa to America, it is becoming more and more evident that health care operators must endeavour to promote universal precautions when possible. Although Ebola itself is not an airborne threat, according to Laurie Garret, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, for that to happen it would be a genetic leap in the realm of science fiction
Stephen K. Gire of Harvard and his colleagues have noted that since its inception, the virus has undergone 341 genetic mutations, making it a serious threat and something that needs to be stopped right away.
Although the likelihood of the virus going airborne is not entirely probable, it will however continue to mutate, perhaps infecting, sickening and killing its patients more slowly. This in turn will allow these infected people to spread the virus to a greater number of people.
So what can be done? Education is the the first line of defence. Promote universal precautions and proper respiratory protection. Sure they make things a little more uncomfortable for healthcare workers, but I think that is a small price to be pay for protection. With the Canadian government starting the testing of a vaccine this month, perhaps a cure is coming soon...For now, lets make sure our workers have a fighting chance and get them re-trained on proper technique and precautions.