The safety of Sparrow Patients, Caregivers, Physicians and Visitors is our most important priority. We want to assure you that we have developed a constant readiness plan related to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Sparrow is aggressively training Caregivers with the highest potential for contact with possible EVD Patients, including drills to test our plans, preparations, training, and supplies.  Sparrow's EVD Task Force members are working in close collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to ensure proper preparations and procedures are in place.

The EVD Task Force is continuously monitoring new developments and will provide updates to ensure Caregivers, Physicians, and Volunteers are engaged in a culture of safety.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)?

A rare, but deadly disease caused by infection.

Is Sparrow ready to care for Patients with EVD?

A Sparrow task force is following recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is in contact with representatives from the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) to ensure proper preparations, training, and procedures are in place.


How is Sparrow training Caregivers?

Sparrow is aggressively training Caregivers with the highest potential for contact with possible EVD Patients, including drills involving mock Patients. Drills are being conducted to test our plans, preparations, training, and supplies should a Patient suspected of EVD be identified. Mock Patients with EVD symptoms have arrived unannounced at different locations throughout Sparrow Health System so Caregivers can work through various possible EVD scenarios.

How many Caregivers have been trained and where throughout Sparrow?

More than 250 Caregivers have been trained. That includes Caregivers in every Emergency Department at every campus as well as Caregivers in Labor and Delivery, Cardiac Intensive Care, and Hospitalists.

Where have the drills taken place?

Patient drills have been conducted in all of Sparrow’s Emergency Room locations. Each drill had parts that went very well and parts identified where we can improve.


How is EVD spread? Can I get it from coughs/sneezes?

It is only transmitted by direct unprotected contact with blood or body fluids (urine, saliva, feces, vomit, sweat, semen) of a person who is sick with EVD.

When is someone contagious?

People are only contagious with EVD when they are experiencing symptoms.

How long does EVD live outside the body?

On dried surfaces (e.g. doorknobs and countertops), EVD can survive for several hours. Virus in body fluid (e.g. blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

If someone survives EVD, can he/she still spread the disease?

Once someone recovers from EVD, they can no longer spread the virus. It has been found in semen for up to three months, so unprotected sex is not advised for three months post-recovery.

Travel to/from an affected area

What do I do if I'm returning to the U.S. from an area where the outbreak is occurring?

After you return, monitor your health for 21 days. Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever or any of the following symptoms - headache, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising/bleeding. Tell your doctor about recent travel and symptoms before you go to the office or hospital. Advance notice will help your doctor care for you and protect other visitors and health care Caregivers.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

What personal protective equipment (PPE) will be utilized at Sparrow to protect Caregivers?

Adherence to standard contact precautions is an integral part of protection against any infectious agent. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for Caregivers providing care to suspected/confirmed EVD Patients depends on the symptoms the Patient is exhibiting.

Category 1 PPE includes:

  • Paper scrubs
  • Leg coverings
  • Impervious surgical gown
  • Hood (drapes over the hair, neck, and shoulders)
  • Mask
  • Face Shield
  • Double gloves (surgical gloves to elbow and non-sterile wrist length gloves)

If advanced symptoms exist, additional PPE will include:

  • Tyvek suit
  • Apron
  • Enhanced leg covers
  • N95 mask/Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
  • Face shield

When will Sparrow Caregivers be trained on proper use of this enhanced PPE for EVD Patients?

Contact precautions protect Caregivers and are utilized regularly to prevent the transmission of infectious disease. A limited number of Caregivers would provide care to EVD Patients. Hands-on and repeat demonstration training for the proper use of PPE has started and will continue.


What is the treatment for EVD?

There is no treatment other than supportive care (e.g. IV fluid or oral rehydration). Some Patients will recover with appropriate medical care.

Related Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State of Michigan: Emerging Disease Issues - Ebola

Local coverage on EVD preparedness

Hospitals Say They're Ready for Ebola (WILX Ch. 10, Oct. 16, 2014)

Local Hospitals ready if Ebola hits (WLNS Ch. 6, Oct. 16, 2014)