Tuttnauer at FIME 2014 Tradeshow in Miami Beach

Tuttnauer had a great experience at FIME 2014 in Miami Beach Florida, August 6-8, 2014. Mr. Mario Finkiel, Latin America Sales Executive was on hand. We showed a selection of steam autoclaves and plasma hydrogen peroxide low temperature sterilizers. 

We would like to thank those who visited us at the @FIMEShow. It was a great exhibition and we hope to see you again at FIME 2015.

 

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Ebola Made Simple

No Reason to Panic?

While MERS was recently the most talked-about virus, now it's the Ebola virus, which is attracting media attention and concern. The Ebola outbreak began in Guinea in March 2014, spreading to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and – in the last few weeks –Nigeria. Over 2,615 people have been infected, with more than over 1,427 dead as of August 25 – that’s a mortality rate of over 55%. This is the deadliest outbreak of the virus since its discovery in 1976. Many health care professionals say there’s no reason to panic, but on August 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a public health emergency.​

This post demystifies Ebola, providing basic facts and explaining the role of infection control.

Ebola and the Global Village

Thanks to crowd wisdom and online technology, organizations such as the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) track and document deadly diseases faster and better than ever. Scanning social networks, blogs, and other online media, these agencies have collected reports and discussions about Ebola cases, using these and other data to create a live, interactive, and highly accurate map of the epidemic. Such tracking of a contagious disease in real time helps control its spread worldwide.

Not the Best of Families

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly Ebola hemorrhagic fever, broke out in 1976 in Nzara, Sudan, and in a village near the Ebola River in Congo. Ebola ranks among the long, stringlike members of the Filoviridae family – from the Latin filo, thread – and can cause severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and primates. Four species have been identified: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Zaire, and Reston. Zaire, the deadliest, is now spreading.

Who's Got It?

Ebola is most likely transmitted by exposure to infected primates. Fruit bats also carry the disease and may be its natural hosts.

The first symptoms are flu-like: fever, muscle pain, weakness, headaches, and sore throat. Next comes vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and possibly liver and kidney malfunction. The final, usually fatal phase can involve severe internal and external bleeding and multiple organ failure.

Human Transmission and Infection Control

Ebola is transmitted by contact with infected bodily fluids. (Caregivers often catch it when cleaning up vomit or diarrhea.) It enters the body through the nose and mouth. Incubation lasts two to twenty-one days, during which patients become contagious only once they show symptoms. This is why simple infection control measures can save lives and contain the disease. 

Ebola is not transmitted through the air, which makes it slightly easier to control. At room temperature, however, it can survive outside its host for days. That’s another reason infection control is vital. With adequate sterilization of equipment and availability of disinfectants, proper cleaning of infected environments, and effective quarantining, the virus can never gain a foothold. 

Sterilization and infection control are particularly important in the health care environment, lest health care providers themselves become infected, tragically spreading the very plague they sought to stop.

According to the CDC, Ebola research must take place in a biosafety level 4 lab, reserved for the deadliest diseases.

Is Ebola a Global Threat?

Does Ebola threaten the Western world? Although several health care workers infected in Africa were shipped to the U.S. and Europe for treatment, Ebola hasn’t spread to the West. Experts say it won’t, simply because Western hospitals’ infection control standards are much higher than those elsewhere.

Ethics and Education

​The WHO recently endorsed the use of experimental drugs to combat Ebola in West Africa. While there’s no known cure, three such medicines offer hope. Is it ethical to administer an untested drug with unknown side effects? This is what Doctors Without Borders has called the “impossible dilemma.” Is it ethical to administer an untested drug with unknown side effects?

Aside from merely manufacturing sterilization and infection control equipment, we at Tuttnauer seek to educate. The more our customers understand infection control, the more effectively they’ll use our autoclaves. Thus, in developing regions such as Africa, Tuttnauer provides training. Beyond the technicalities of autoclave usage, maintenance, and repair, we focus on the theory and practice of infection control, professionalizing our clientele. It’s all part of our modest contribution to infection control.

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Sterilization and Infection Control News Update - August 2014

Our August news update includes the hottest stories about infection control, decontamination, and sterilization around the globe. Global disease made headlines this past month: The Ebola virus attracted a lot of media attention, MERS remains a concern, and there were a few major breaches of infection control. So without further ado, here’s the update:

Let´s start with eight interesting perspectives on the Ebola virus:

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How a Computer Algorithm Predicted West Africa´s Ebola Outbreak before It Was Announced

Publichealthwatch - 10 August, 2014

“New media” map of infection control and monitoring. Pretty cool.

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Ebola Scare Briefly Closes Charlotte ER

NBC News - 30 July, 2014

An Ebola scare closed a Charlotte area emergency room briefly overnight in an incident that may play out many times over in the coming weeks with heightened fears about the virus.
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Top Ten Most Dangerous Viruses in the World

DW - 12 August, 2014

​EbOla isn´t number one. Click to see what is.

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As Ebola, MERS, and HIV/AIDS Make Headlines, What Are the Biggest Risks to World Health? And What Is Being Done About Them?

Independent - 27 July, 2014

The British Independent magazine came up with its own list of the worst diseases around. Compare this roundup to the one in the previous article.

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What Actually Happens When a Person Is Infeccted with the Ebola Virus

The Huffington Post - 02 August, 2014

Not a pleasant read, but very informative. We hope a cure is found soon. Meanwhile, may infection control prevent or at least slow the spread of Ebola.

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Ebola: Improved Hospital Infection Control crucial, Says US Expert

Businessday - 05 August, 2014

Yet another reminder that infection control saves lives.

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Containing Ebola Is Actually Not That Hard

Business Insider - 04 August, 2014

There is only one bio-containment unit in the US. Fortunately, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tom Frieden, stresses that Ebola can be treated in any US hospital.

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Deadly MERS Virus May Be Airborne, study Says

Newsweek - 23 July, 2014

While Ebola dominates the headlines, MERS is still a concern. Researchers found MERS fragments in an air sample, indicating that the virus is likely transmitted through the air.

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Enough about viruses and diseases. Here are some other infection control stories that made the news:

Lawsuit Filed Against Alegent Creighton Health by Former Infection Control Specialist

KETV - 04 August, 2014

What happens when an infection control specialist tries to tell the truth?

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Infection Control Dentistry Has Never Been More Essential

Dental News - 04 August, 2014

This article reminds us that adequate sterilization of dental instruments is crucial to infection control.

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Lachine Bariatric Surgery Patients Face Blood Infection Scare

CTV News - 29 July, 2014

Nearly 150 patients who underwent weight-loss surgery in Montreal may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis, or other infections due to an unclean medical instrument.

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Federal Official Says Ann Arbor VA Hospital 'Unwilling to Correct' Deficiencies in Sterilization Division

mLive Michigan - 31 July, 2014

A sterile supply technician warns of improper infection control.

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Phase 1 of Hospital Renovation Projected for October Completion

Pratt Tribune - 5 August, 2014

On a happier note, infection control is top priority in hospital construction and renovation.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the referenced articles and blog posts are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Tuttnauer, the tuttnauer.com staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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