Waste From Ebola Poses Challenge to Hospitals

I think they’ve already found  a solution to the problem.  Ignore it.    These people aren’t even wearing gloves!

Plastic drums containing potentially contaminated material were removed from the Dallas apartment where Nina Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, was staying before being treated for Ebola. Credit Mike Stone/Getty Images

… Ebola’s catastrophic course includes diarrhea, vomiting and hemorrhaging of blood, a combination difficult enough to contain in less-communicable illnesses. When they are highly contagious, disposing of the waste and cleaning up what is left behind require expertise and equipment that some specialists said are lacking even in highly regarded medical facilities.

Those shortcomings are compounded, they said, by surprising gaps in scientists’ knowledge about the Ebola virus itself, down to the time it can survive in different environments outside the body. …

Most hospitals do not have incinerators or the steam sterilizers called autoclaves with the capacity to handle large amounts of infectious waste. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the 866-bed facility in Dallas where two nurses became ill after treating an Ebola patient, has had to pack and ship 55-gallon drums of waste — from body fluids to linens to contaminated protective suits to an entire hospital bed — to a Port Arthur, Tex., incinerator for disposal. …


Liquid medical waste such as feces and vomitus can be disposed of in the sanitary sewer following local sewage disposal requirements.  Care should be taken to avoid splashing when disposing of these materials.

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