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via www.CDC.gov by way of The Guardian of Public Health
To the Editor: Providing medical care for Ebola virus–infected patients entails physical and psychological stress, extended shift times, and risk for infection. In addition, the wearing of personal protective equipment impairs communication and performance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Lessons learned from outbreaks of other infectious diseases indicate that such challenging treatment environments require the monitoring of health care professionals for psychological distress (e.g., anxiety, depression, fatigue, and social isolation) to prevent personal exhaustion and reduced job performance (1).
In August 2014, the first patient in Germany known to have Ebola virus disease was admitted to the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (2) and received treatment in the isolation facility for 18 days. We hypothesized that health care professionals working in the isolation unit who had direct contact with the Ebola patient would show more signs of psychological distress than those not working in the isolation unit.
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