Joint Statement on How the Health Care Sector is Responding to Ebola (11/10/14)

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Marie Watteau, (202) 626-2351,
Jemarion Jones, (301) 628-5198,
Adam Sachs, (301) 628-5034,

Joint Statement on How the Health Care Sector is Responding to Ebola

Pamela Thompson, Chief Executive Officer, American Organization of Nurse Executives and Pam Cipriano, President of the American Nurses Association

Hospitals, emergency response personnel, state and local health departments, and health care providers across the country continue to work hard to improve their Ebola readiness and are learning from the experiences of those who have successfully treated Ebola patients. They are using the latest scientifically based guidance to update their procedures and protocols, secure the appropriate supplies, and redesign their facilities as necessary to meet the needs of these complex patients. And they are educating staff on proper protective equipment and safety procedures, and then drilling and drilling and drilling again to ensure that, if they are called upon, they are ready to safely treat this disease.

The public can be confident that health care providers and organizations are able to protect them and our workers from this disease. We can celebrate that members of the public who were in close proximity with others with the disease have not been affected in any way. We have seen the progress in curing health care workers who were infected with the virus.

Now is the time to return to rational thinking, and trust in the evidence-based approaches to containing and treating this disease. Inciting fear where there is no cause, creates harm and does not help heal.

A new and novel disease in our country, Ebola is understandably frightening to many people. But we know what we need to do to detect, diagnose and treat this disease. And as we have done before with so many other emerging infectious diseases, we are learning from others’ experiences and adapting faster than the disease. We can successfully manage this disease in the U.S. and protect the health of the broader public.

Some have sought to use the anxiety sparked by Ebola to suit their own purposes. This is absolutely unconscionable and a disservice to the American public. We urge those who continue to foment fear to cease doing so immediately and join us in working together to protect the health of our patients, our communities and our nation.