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  • Writer's pictureTodd Handler

The Challenges with Ebola Waste

The Ebola scare was something the U.S. has not seen in some time. Hospitals and doctors were thought to be prepared to handle the virus and they proved they were by treating those diagnosed. However, many people did not see the hectic operations going on to ensure that the medical waste was disposed of properly without putting the public in danger of an epidemic – something that had a very low chance of occurring.

The article below addresses many issues and concerns that went into handling and the media coverage behind the Ebola crisis. Many people were not told that the virus only lives for hours on surfaces or that it cannot be transmitted through food, air, or water. These key facts make it sound less dangerous than was originally expressed to the general public.

Being in isolation, the patients generate a large amount of medical waste. Hospitals consider the entire room to be medical waste that needs to be treated. This causes a major problem for local governments to determine how to handle these waste streams. Will states accept the waste? Will states allow autoclaves to neutralize the virus or will it have to be incinerated? What do we do with the waste after it is treated? All these questions pose difficult answers as no one organization will confirm what to do with it. As your medical waste provider, we ensure that even the most harmful of pathogens (Class A) are incinerated and destroyed.

Currently, the Healthcare Waste Institute is monitoring the discussion of what is to be done with Ebola and other Class A infectious diseases. The industry is confident that it can handle this type of medical waste but the support from the government and local experts are needed to ensure the public is also well informed.

Please see here for more information. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We have the resources to ensure you get the answers you need in a timely manner.

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