Health care workers at the front lines of the Ebola pandemic need to wear masks, wash their hands frequently and avoid the use of hand sanitizer and other potentially harmful substances, according to a new report.
The report, “Ebola: Healthcare workers at Homefront,” is the first in a series on how healthcare workers are coping with the spread of the deadly virus.
The study was commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is the result of interviews with more than 150 healthcare workers.
The study also looks at the health care industry as a whole, including nurses, doctors, pharmacists, pharmacology and lab technicians, and how those industries have responded to the outbreak.
In a release announcing the study, the CDC said that the workers’ experiences were “often profoundly different” from what their own hospitals are facing.
“We know that when we have a crisis like this, we want to make sure that we’re taking care of people in our hospitals,” said Dr. David Shulkin, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the CDC.
The authors say that a significant number of the healthcare workers interviewed did not have access to a personal protective equipment system, and that the lack of proper equipment, including gloves and masks, could have contributed to the deaths and hospitalizations.
The researchers say that the healthcare industry’s response to the virus has been slow and often unsuccessful.
While the authors acknowledge that the industry is working on addressing the needs of workers, they also note that “unprecedented levels of Ebola have contributed significantly to the health challenges we are experiencing.”
The study found that the majority of healthcare workers who participated in the survey reported that they had experienced symptoms that appeared to be related to Ebola symptoms, and most of the workers were willing to share their experiences with others.
In addition, most healthcare workers said that they felt uncomfortable or scared when handling Ebola patients, and one-third reported having an unanticipated episode of vomiting.
The findings of the study are consistent with previous studies that have found healthcare workers have not been able to fully assess the Ebola crisis.
One study from the Centers For Disease Control in 2013 estimated that about one-fifth of the U.S. population has Ebola symptoms and that about 2.7 million people are infected.
The CDC says that the Ebola virus is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person, as opposed to indirect contact through bodily fluids such as blood or saliva.