You will be reading this as I am in Chicago at RDH Under One Roof (RDH UOR). I hope you’re here at the meeting with me. In addition to numerous CE opportunities, including general sessions and workshops, UOR has many opportunities for networking, such as a welcome and farewell reception, lunches, exhibits, and more.
This week’s FOCUS includes some serious issues, including domestic violence. In addition to the resources presented by Linda Blackiston, RDH, BS, consider visiting Prevent Child Abuse (PCA).(1) Healthy Families America, a program of PCA America, strives to provide all expectant and new parents with the opportunity to receive the education and support they need at the time their baby is born. Healthy Families sites engage pregnant women, families, and parents of children from birth to age 5, by helping them access community resources that encourage them to develop the skills needed to raise children who are physically, socially, and emotional healthy and ready to learn.
Healthy Families is the only home visiting program that has expanded into all five U.S. territories, and the flexible design of the program means that every culture can use this model of home visiting to meet the unique needs of their families.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the deadly Ebola virus is raging in Africa. The recent West Africa outbreak is called the most deadly wave of the virus since its first appearance in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), certain kinds of fruit bats are thought to be the natural host of the virus, with the initial transmission resulting from a wild animal infecting a human.(2) Once the disease infects a person, it is easily transmissible between people who are in close contact. The virus spreads by direct contact with bodily fluids, and often moves more rapidly in remote areas. There is no vaccine or cure for the Ebola virus, and it kills up to 90% of its victims. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection(CDC), only “supportive therapy” can be offered to those with Ebola. Patients must be isolated. Initial symptoms of the Ebola virus include fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, lack of appetite, and sore throat. Advanced symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and internal and external bleeding, often from the eyes, nose, or mouth.(3)
There are no vaccines to prevent or drugs to treat the Ebola virus, so what would happen if we had an outbreak in the U.S.? While that’s not likely to happen, if it did it could overwhelm our health-care system. All states would deal with a potential crisis in a different manner. New York is one of the few states that has guidelines in place relating to allocation of ventilators in hospitals should a deadly flu pandemic strike the U.S.(4) The CDC and Institute of Medicine have voluntary guidelines to aid in the decision making specific to allocation of mechanical ventilators during a severe influenza pandemic.(5)
Because of the continuing outbreak, called the “largest in history” by the CDC, the American Public Health Association (APHA) Bookstore has made the Ebola-Marburg virus chapter of its upcoming Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM), 20th Edition, available online as a free download to aid public health workers responding to the disease.(6) Take the challenge for the Surgeon General’s Call to Action in section 4.
Thanks to Linda Blackiston, RDH, BS, and Cindy Kleinman, RDH, BS, for their contribution to this newsletter.
Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, is the editorial director of RDH eVillage FOCUS.