Dec. 18, 2014
CDC Releases FAQ document for water sector workers regarding Ebola
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Dec. 17 posted a document entitled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Suspected or Confirmed Individuals with Ebola in the U.S. The document can be viewed at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/faq-untreated-sewage.html.
This document is associated with another document, Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States that was posted in late November. See the interim guidance document at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/handling-sewage.html.
Nov. 21, 2014
CDC Releases Interim Guidance on Ebola in Wastewater
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 20 released an interim guidance on precautions and information surrounding Ebola and wastewater. The guidance, Interim Guidance for Managers and Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Individuals with Ebola in the United States, can be found on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/prevention/handling-sewage.html.
The document is intended to provide recommendations for workers on the types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used and proper hygiene for the safe handling of untreated wastewater that may contain Ebola virus, according to the website. The website includes information on Ebola’s structure and transmission as well as guidance on personal protective equipment and basic hygiene practices.
Nov. 19, 2014
WEF Posts Ebola Webcast recording
On Nov. 4, the Water Environment Federation and Water Environment Research Foundation, along with many cosponsors, held a webcast on the concerns that the Ebola virus poses to wastewater worker safety. The webcast included a general overview on the survival of the Ebola virus in wastewater, sanitation and personal protective practices, and what is needed in terms of research.
View a recording of the webcast free at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/797089520.
Oct. 27, 2014
AWWA Also To Offer Ebola Webinar
The American Water Works Association will host Preparing for Ebola in the Water Sector Webinar on Nov. 6, 2014 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The webinar will cost $120. (Complimentary for AWWA members.)
Learn more on the event information page.
Oct. 27, 2014
Safety – Addressing Concerns on Ebola in Wastewater
Tuesday, Nov. 4
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET
This joint WEF/WERF webcast will address concerns that the Ebola virus poses on wastewater worker safety, including a general overview on the survival of the Ebola virus in wastewater, sanitation and personal protective practices, and what is needed in terms of research.
Cosponsored by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), the American Public Health Association (APHA), the WateReuse Association, the American Water Works Association, the National Rural Water Association, the WaterISAC, and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies.
Join us for a discussion on:
- A general overview of what is known about the survival of the Ebola virus in wastewater and what is needed in terms of research,
- sanitation and personal protective practices for wastewater personnel and other WEF resources on operator safety, and
- the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Guidance for Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Ebola Cases in the United States (if released prior to this webcast).
Oct. 21, 2014
Two updated Ebola guidance documents released
The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration recently posted a new guidance about cleaning surfaces that have come in contact with the Ebola virus. The document, Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces, provides guidance on protecting workers in non-healthcare/non-laboratory settings from exposure to Ebola and cleaning and disinfection chemicals. The guidance can be found at www.osha.gov/SLTC/ebola/control_prevention.html.
Also, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted an updated guidance for personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on its Ebola website, www.cdc.gov/Ebola. This guidance includes procedures for putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) PPE as well as a list of recommended PPE.
Oct. 17, 2014
CDC preparing Ebola guidance for wastewater sector in the U.S.
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. Although there is limited data on the fate and transport of Ebola in wastewater collection systems, the development of protective precautions is essential. As such, 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 conference call, organized by WEF on Oct. 16, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared that CDC has prepared and is conducting an internal review of an interim guidance. The guidance, titled Interim Guidance for Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Ebola Cases in the United States, will address basic hygiene practices, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and PPE disposal actions. Specifically, this guidance will provide recommendations and protocols for
- workers who perform sewer maintenance,
- construction workers who repair or replace live sewers,
- plumbers, and
- workers who clean portable toilets.
CDC stated that the guidance review would be expedited and indicated that guidance could be released as soon as late October. WEF will communicate when CDC releases the guidance or as new information becomes available.
CDC is the lead federal agency for Ebola containment and prevention. For the best information on Ebola, visit www.cdc.gov/ebola. Also see the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for general Ebola guidance focused on workplace safety and health at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/ebola.
(updated Oct. 20, 2014)