As of October 17, 2014, dental professionals are advised of the following, according to an ADA report:
A person infected with Ebola is not considered contagious until symptoms appear. Due to the virulent nature of the disease, it is highly unlikely that someone with Ebola symptoms will seek dental care when they are severely ill. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ADA Division of Science, dental professionals are advised to take a medical history, including a travel history from their patients with symptoms in which a viral infection is suspected.
Dentists are advised not to treat patients if they have these signs and symptoms for Ebola.
Four steps dental professionals and staff in contact with the patient should take if a patient is feeling feverish and their travel history indicates Ebola risk:
- immediately protect themselves by using standard precautions with physical barriers (gowns, masks, face protection, and gloves)
- immediately call 911 on behalf of the patient
- notify the appropriate state or local health department authorities
- ask the health department to provide you and your staff with the most up-to-date guidance on removing and disposing of potentially contaminated materials and equipment, including the physical barriers.
The ADA remains in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) regarding Ebola and is dedicated to providing the most up to date information for dental professionals on this evolving issues.