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November 27, 2014

CDC guidance covers handling of Ebola-case sewage

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This issue was actually raised at the Window on Ottawa. While the speaker couldn’t provide any Canadian advice regarding the handling of sewage, the following was recently released by the American Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

New Interim Guidance for Workers Handling Untreated Sewage from Ebola Cases in the United States provides recommendations on personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper hygiene for the safe handling of untreated sewage that may contain the Ebola virus.

The guidance resource from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is based on CDC’s current knowledge of the Ebola virus, including detailed information on virus transmission, recommendations from the World Health Organization and scientific studies of wastewater treatment and workers who handle wastewater.

Utilities are encouraged to review current PPE protocols, including appropriate donning and doffing procedures to ensure worker safety. In addition, utilities should review existing local ordinances regulating hospital waste and pretreatment as appropriate, determine if hospitals in their service areas have been identified as treatment centers for Ebola Virus Disease patients, and review with hospital staff the protocols for handling EVD patient waste, including pretreatment prior to disposal to sanitary sewer.


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