Journal of Environmental Health
November 2015, Volume 78, No. 4, 18–21
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2014 Ebola Outbreak: Implications for Environmental Health Practice
Kendra Ratnapradipa, MSW, Department of Epidemiology, Saint Louis University
Environmental health practitioners deal with assessing risk of potential environmental contaminants from a variety of sources, including infectious disease such as Ebola virus disease (EVD). Therefore, they are uniquely qualified to contribute to epidemiological discussions of the interactions between agent-host-environment and how those interactions might be disrupted to stop the spread of EVD. Occupational health contributions on the proper use of personal protective equipment are particularly relevant for diseases lacking vaccination and treatment such as EVD. Occupations that may be at increased risk of exposure include health workers, laboratory workers, cleaning crews (for hospitals, ambulances, travel facilities, etc.), transportation workers (e.g., airlines, public transportation, taxis), sanitation workers, and morgue workers. Raising awareness professionally and publicly is an important step to stopping the spread of EVD.