The risk from Ebola in this country is currently considered to be low, however it is prudent at this stage to make sure that existing controls which would protect staff are being followed and to have a procedure in place regarding a guest who maybe suffering from Ebola type symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
An infected person will typically develop a fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, and intense muscle weakness. These symptoms start suddenly, between 2 and 21 days after becoming infected, but usually after 5-7 days. Diarrhoea, vomiting, a rash, stomach pain and impaired kidney and liver function follow. The patient then bleeds internally, and may also bleed from the ears, eyes, nose or mouth.
How is it transmitted?
People can become infected with the Ebola virus if they come into contact with the blood, bodily fluids or organs of an infected person.
Who is most at risk in a hotel?
The people most at risk are housekeeping staff who clean toilets and those who handle soiled linen or dressing gowns. In addition any staff who are involved in the cleaning up of vomit in the hotel.
Prevention when coming into contact with bodily fluids
Staff coming into contact with blood, or bodily fluids must continue to wear impervious gloves and exercise good personal hygiene. It is appropriate for refresher training to be carried out at this time so that they are fully aware of the precautions that need to be taken.
When cleaning up blood, bodily fluids or vomit a suitable biohazard kit should be used. These can be purchased from a number of outlets including those listed below:
All blood/faecal contaminated waste should then be disposed of as clinical waste and collected by a licenced contractor or disposed of at a local hospital.
Action to be taken when a guest requests medical assistance
If a guest requires medical assistance and states they are suffering from Ebola type symptoms they should be requested to stay in their rooms until the doctor arrives. If it is known that the guest has travelled from western Africa within the last 21 days, this information should be passed onto the doctor before they meet the patient.
It would be prudent at this time to make sure that the current contact details for the out of hours medical care are still valid.
Action to be taken if a guest is confirmed as having the Ebola virus
The room of the guest should be kept be locked and no one should enter. The advice provided by the Local Authorities Environmental Health Practitioner should be followed.
Ensure that you are aware of the risk level involved and also ensure that the room is cleaned and disinfected using suitable materials.
Additional information on Ebola can be found here:
Please contact Food Alert on 020 7244 1900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries about this topic.