The guidance urges PSAPs to question callers about their residence and travel history, as well as whether they have had contact with a person with confirmed Ebola in the last 21 days and whether they are experiencing signs and symptoms. If this questioning yields any positive responses from the patient, PSAPs should immediately provide that information to the EMS providers, so they can put on the appropriate PPE before entering the scene.

The guidance is voluntary, but it appears that PSAPs generally have embraced the recommendations, although it’s difficult to know for sure. A survey done by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) in November found that, of the nine states polled, almost all had PSAP protocols similar to the CDC’s Interim Guidance.

But Dawson said the effectiveness of the guidance hinges on how well local entities cooperate. The guidance advises local entities to work with their public-health authorities to develop coordinated plans for responding to a potential Ebola patient.

“That’s really the only way it works,” Dawson said. “We can produce the guidance, but it is really the local system of care of that needs to implement it and really operationalize it and make it work. It’s really folks working together that make it happen.”

There have also been signs recently that progress is being made to slow the spread of the deadly virus. According to the CDC, there recently were fewer than 100 new confirmed cases reported in a week in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—a first since June 29, 2014.