WEF Compiles Ebola Resources and Offers Webcast Recording

This colorized transmission electron micrograph reveals some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virio. Photo courtesy of Frederick A. Murphy, Center for Disease Control (CDC) Ebola Outbreak 2014 Press Kit.

This colorized transmission electron micrograph reveals some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virio. Photo courtesy of Frederick A. Murphy, Center for Disease Control (CDC) Ebola Outbreak 2014 Press Kit.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), in collaboration with many water and public health organizations, has been seeking credible Ebola information to address concerns and questions within the water sector. Because there is limited data on the fate and transport of Ebola in wastewater collection systems, the organizations have reached out to appropriate federal agencies to discuss wastewater worker safety and the inactivation of Ebola by wastewater treatment processes.

During a WEF-organized conference call on Oct. 16, a spokesperson for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained that CDC was conducting an internal review of an interim guidance, Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States. The guidance addresses basic hygiene practices, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and PPE disposal actions. It provides recommendations and protocols for workers who perform sewer maintenance, construction workers who repair or replace live sewers, plumbers, and workers who clean portable toilets.

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph depicts numerous filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from a chronically-infected VERO E6 cell (yello-green). Photo courtesy of the CDC Ebola Outbreak 2014 Press Kit.

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph depicts numerous filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from a chronically-infected VERO E6 cell (yello-green). Photo courtesy of the CDC Ebola Outbreak 2014 Press Kit.

CDC provides additional Ebola information online at http://www.cdc.gov/ebola. In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health provides general Ebola guidance focused on workplace safety and health at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ebola/. The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has posted the guidance document, Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces, providing information to workers in non-healthcare and non-laboratory settings about cleaning surfaces that have come in contact with the Ebola virus.

On Nov. 4, WEF and the Water Environment Research Foundation (Alexandria, Va.) hosted the webcast, Wastewater Worker Safety — Addressing Concerns on Ebola in Wastewater. A record-number of 4400 sites registered for the webcast. The webcast provided a general overview of what is known about the survival of the Ebola virus in wastewater, identified what research is needed, outlined sanitation and personal protective practices for wastewater personnel, provided WEF resources on operator safety, and described the CDC’s guidance. View the webcast recording, and download slides from the webcast.

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