As of late September, the worsening Ebola epidemic has claimed more than 3,000 lives, infected more than 6,500 patients—and has slipped through the screening net that authorities implemented in West African airports. Now that the virus has spread beyond Africa, clinical testing will be a frontline weapon in the effort to get patients the help they need and contain the disease. As an unfortunate example, doctors initially sent the Ebola patient in Dallas home with antibiotics, delaying his treatment and creating a public health risk that might have been avoided if proper testing had identified his illness.
Diagnosing Ebola comes with unique challenges, however, that many labs would not ordinarily be prepared to face, making it crucial for labs to develop plans ahead of time for testing specimens from suspected Ebola virus patients. A chief concern is the special biohazard handling that Ebola testing requires; labs conducting it must perform a delicate balancing act of meeting patient needs while still protecting their staff and not compromising care for the many other patients they serve who do not have Ebola.
In AACC’s webinar, Drs. Cornish, Campbell, and Hammett-Stabler will address these issues, as well as topics such as the importance of distinguishing between Ebola and other emerging viruses like SARS and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, and the role point-of-care testing plays in managing patients with suspected emerging viruses. The presenters will also respond to issues brought up in a survey that AACC is currently conducting to determine how prepared U.S. labs are to respond to suspected Ebola virus specimens, the results of which AACC plans to share with public health agencies.
HOW: To attend this webinar or for additional information please contact Molly Polen, AACC Director of Communications & PR, by clicking on the ‘request information’ tab below.
Further details can be found at http://www.aacc.org/events/meetings/Pages/9077.aspx