Ebola Sample Is Mishandled at C.D.C. Lab in Latest Error – NYTimes.com

[I]t’s been a bumpy year for the CDC, and this latest error isn’t making any of us feel any better about the agency’s built-in safeguards. Here’s a snippet from the NY Times article this morning:

The error occurred on Monday, when a high-security lab, working with Ebola virus from the epidemic in West Africa, sent samples that should have contained killed virus to another C.D.C. laboratory, down the hall.But the first lab sent the wrong samples — ones that may have contained the live virus. The second lab was not equipped to handle live Ebola. The technician there who worked with the samples wore gloves and a gown, but no face shield, and may have been exposed.

Dr. Tom Frieden has been one of the point men during the current epidemic, and he’s on the hotseat again. Someone might want to buy Tom a pair of fireproof pants for Christmas.

Read more via Ebola Sample Is Mishandled at C.D.C. Lab in Latest Error – NYTimes.com.

Update: Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic West Africa, November 2014

[F]or those who want to see the numbers over time for the West African Ebola Epidemic, here’s a link to the early release of this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC. Note the included graph that shows the epidemiology over the outbreak period, March 29-Nov. 8, 2014. The steady rise during the initial half of the year, followed by a major leap is a sobering wake-up call.

Read the entire report via Update: Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic — West Africa, November 2014.

CDC Increasing Supply of Ebola-specific Personal Protective Equipment for U.S. Hospitals | CDC Newsroom

[T]he following was just released by the CDC as an aid for US hospitals that face the task of caring for an Ebola or suspected Ebola patient. Much has been said about PPEs and their use, and a recent study revealed an aging stockpile of PPEs (that have already reached or will soon reach their expiration dates) within the US government stores. Today’s information must come as welcome relief to hospital boards and administrators. And to the frontline staff who will be wearing the garments. Here’s the press release in full:

(Press Release – CDC) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has ordered $2.7 million in personal protective equipment (PPE) to increase Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) supplies to assist U.S. hospitals caring for Ebola patients. Products are being configured into 50 kits that can be rapidly delivered to hospitals. Each kit can provide the PPE needed by clinical teams to manage the care of one Ebola patient for up to five days. Continue reading “CDC Increasing Supply of Ebola-specific Personal Protective Equipment for U.S. Hospitals | CDC Newsroom”

Too Much Protective Gear? Really?

[N]ot surprisingly,  Texas Health Presbyterian is fighting back this morning, protesting claims made yesterday by the Nurses’ Union in Texas that staff at Texas Health were given inadequate training and equipment. But Tom Frieden had this to say:

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also said that breaches of protocols led to the infection of the two nurses, but added that nurses were wearing too much protective gear, increasing the difficulty of suiting up properly and increasing the risk of contamination while undressing. [emphasis added]

Yes, he actually said the nurses had ‘too much’ protection against a BSL-4 pathogen. The nurses had complained that protocol used while treating Thomas Eric Duncan left their necks exposed, and that they were told to ‘use medical tape’, which is permeable. With a virus that is measured in nanometers, you don’t want permeable, but you do want ‘covered’.

Healthcare cannot exist without nurses, so I suspect that both Texas Health and Frieden will be eating their words soon. In fact, the CDC’s response to the US outbreak hasn’t been stellar, so it wouldn’t surprise me to find Frieden resigning soon. It’s a shame to see anyone ‘take the fall’, but honestly, the CDC should have sent in a team right away or insisted that Duncan be evacuated to Emory right away.

Read the entire morning report via ​Ebola: Texas hospital denies breach of protocols – CBS News.