Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola Virus Disease


Personal Protective Equipment for Ebola Virus Disease


I am sure you have heard about the recent Ebola outbreak. Below is an excerpt only from the 3M TechUpdate, October 2014. For full details, contact 3M Solutions T 1800 024 464, or , or Safety Action T 03 9690 6311.

What is Ebola virus disease (EVD)?

Ebola virus disease (also known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often-fatal disease caused by infection with a species of Ebola virus. EVD is a severe acute viral illness often characterised by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding

How is EVD transmitted?

Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (such as saliva or urine) of an infected person or animal, or through contact with objects that have been contaminated with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person, dead or alive. Transmission is believed to occur via contact with mucous membranes and non-intact skin (such as, rashes, cuts, etc.). Risk of infection by inhalation of contaminated aerosols by healthcare workers has not been documented, but thought to be low at this time based on case history evidence. According to the ECDC, Ebola virus is easily killed by soap, bleach, sunlight, or drying. Machine washing clothes that have been contaminated with fluids will reportedly destroy Ebola virus. Ebola virus survives only a short time on surfaces that are in the sun or have dried.1 Refer to the following websites for the most current information and infection control procedures regarding EVD. Listed below are website URL’s:

New Zealand:

What do the United States CDC and WHO recommend for PPE against Ebola virus disease? The prevention of Ebola virus infection includes measures to avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected individuals and with objects contaminated with these fluids. Barrier precautions to prevent skin or mucous membrane exposure of the eyes, nose, and mouth with blood, other body fluids, secretions (including respiratory droplets), or excretions. PPE may include:

  • Impermeable gloves 
  • Impermeable footwear 
  • Eye and face protection 
  • Protective clothing 
  • Fluid resistant respirator or mask

Some tasks require additional protection eg head, eye and face as well as full body safeguards. T asks such as aerosol generating medical procedures, certain laboratory tasks and autopsies require respiratory protection.

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