Preventing the spread of Ebola virus disease 

Any area affected by an outbreak should be immediately quarantined and patients treated in isolation. 

Healthcare workers need to avoid contact with the bodily fluids of their infected patients by:

  • wearing face masks, goggles, gowns and gloves
  • taking extra care when handling blood, secretions and catheters, and when connecting patients to a drip
  • disinfecting non-disposable medical equipment before reusing 
  • sterilising and disposing of used needles and disposable equipment carefully
  • properly disposing of any secretions or bodily waste from the patient
  • carefully and frequently washing hands with soap and water (or alcohol hand rub, if soap isn't available)
  • washing disposable gloves with soap and water after use, disposing of them carefully, then washing hands

Public Health England (PHE) has developed a leaflet recommending the precautions humanitarian workers should take and providing advice on what they should do if they suspect an infection. 

Read the leaflet here (links to external site).

Screening in the UK

In 2014, the UK introduced a screening procedure at key UK airports, starting at Heathrow. The aim was to ensure that as many people as possible arriving from infected countries knew the symptoms and how to get access to healthcare services as quickly as possible. 

The government is now adjusting its Ebola screening arrangements, as the likelihood of further Ebola cases being imported into the UK is now very low. Read more about how the UK government is responding to Ebola.

Page last reviewed: 15/10/2014

Next review due: 15/10/2016