Monday, October 27, 2014

Visiting Professorship, Airport Screening for Ebola

Medical Library- University at Buffalo
I spent last week at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences as a visiting professor (Infectious Diseases). Given that UB Med is my medical Alma Mater, this was a huge honor for me.

Butler Auditorium- University at Buffalo

I am back at VCU, seeing patients and collaborating with many others on our ongoing Ebola preparedness. Although not immediately relevant to our Hospital Infection Prevention Program, I am frequently asked my opinion on airport screening and travel bans. 

This editorial published in  the British Medical Journal summarizes much of the key arguments on Ebola screening at airports. Even as we embark on airport screening, we should not fool ourselves that it will be an effective mechanism to limit the entry of Ebola into the USA. A review of the evidence, particularly for mass screening at airports during the SARS epidemic, suggests that screening, including thermal scans, will detect few cases. Many will not self report symptoms. Also, the longer the incubation period of the infection (up to 21 days for Ebola), the greater the chance of being asymptomatic at the time of screening.

Airport screening may give us a false sense of security. Efforts and resources should be directed at mass public health messages on where to seek prompt medical care  for those at risk of Ebola virus disease. 

More importantly, resources are needed on the front, in west Africa.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola and RVA

The last 72 hours have been exceedingly hectic as we worked through a suspected Ebola case. In the end, the much feared infection was excluded. As with many crises, many lessons are learned and many issues are still evolving.

The Richmond Times Dispatch published this editorial on our response to the Ebola threat. Today, our very own Dr. Richard Wenzel published this thoughtful commentary in the Richmond Times Dispatch. 

Other recent media include these print interviews where I am quoted, accessed here and here. A recent Channel 12 interview can be viewed here while a Channel 8 appearance is accessed here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

ID Week 2014

With Nadia Masroor at ID Week 2014
Last week was exceedingly busy at the ID Week 2014 conference. In addition to various SHEA related committee meetings, we presented our data on de-escalation of contact precautions for endemic MRSA and VRE (Presented by Dr. Michael Edmond).

Nadia Masroor presented our scientific abstract on perceptions and barriers to universal gloving.

Now I am back to work, back to the grind and back to Ebola emergency preparedness. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Enterovirus and Ebola Media Attention

The last several days have been a bit of a media frenzy with Enterovirus and Ebola, both locally and nationally.

Here is a link to a WRIC Channel 8 television interview I did on both Enterovirus and Ebola.

Here is a link on another interview, with a focus on Ebola, for CBS Channel 6.

I also participated in a live Twitter chat, accessed here.