The type of PPE used will vary based on the level of precautions required, such as standard and contact, droplet or airborne infection isolation precautions.
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus species, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.
Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.
The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa.
Laboratory and Healthcare workers who may be exposed to people with Ebola should follow these steps:
- Wear protective clothing, including masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection (dowload the Thomas Virus Protection Brochure).
- Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures. For more information, see “Infection Control for Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers in the African Health Care Setting”.
- Isolate patients with Ebola from other patients.
- Avoid direct contact with the bodies of people who have died from Ebola.
- Notify health officials if you have had direct contact with the blood or body fluids, such as but not limited to, feces, saliva, urine, vomit, and semen of a person who is sick with Ebola. The virus can enter the body through broken skin or unprotected mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth
CDC Website on Ebola
Thomas Virus Protection Brochure - A Quick Reference of our most popular products for protection against viruses
Interim Guidance for Specimen Collection, Transport, Testing, and Submission for Patients with Suspected Infection with Ebola Virus Disease
Sequence for Putting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Donning and Removing Personal Protective Equipment Practicum
Guidance for the Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Healthcare Settings
Infographic - Facts about Ebola in the US
DuPont Personal Protection - Ebola_Tech_Bulletin_ 91114b
Ebola: What Airline Crew and Staff Need to Know