Ebola Protection Recommendations & FAQs

INFORMATION ON EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE

 

As we have learned from the international press and media, the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized the Ebola virus as a ”Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)”. The disease is often fatal with death rates up to 90%. 

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. One imported case from Liberia and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in the United States. The CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent the further spread of Ebola within the United States.

On October 20, the CDC released a fact sheet on Tightened Guidance for Health Care Workers on PPE for Ebola: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/fs1020-ebola-personal-protective-equipment.html  

On October 31, 2014 the WHO released guidance on Personal Protective Equipment in the context of Filovirus outbreak response: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/ebola-ppe-guidelines/en/

This brief is not a substitute for the guidance of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization WHO) or your local health authority. Please consult their websites for the most current information and infection control procedures regarding Ebola virus disease. 

The following is a summary of some of the key information published by the WHO (source: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/faq-ebola/en/ and http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/ebola-ppe-guidelines/en/). Please note that we have inserted the emphasis on WHO references to the use of personal protective equipment and protective measures.

WHAT IS EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE?  

 

WHO IS MOST AT RISK?  

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). It is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90%.

 

 Ebola Virus Disease Frequently Asked Questions and Protective Measures

Download the Ebola Virus Disease Frequently Asked Questions and Protective Measures PDF 



 

During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are:

  • health workers;
  • family members or others in close contact with infected people;
  • mourners who have direct contact with the bodies of the deceased as part of burial ceremonies.

More research is needed to understand if some groups, such as immuno-compromised people or those with other underlying health conditions, are more susceptible than others to contracting the virus. 

Exposure to the virus can be controlled through the use of protective measures in clinics and hospitals, at community gatherings, or at home.

 



 

HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS?  

 

WHAT CAN I DO? CAN IT BE PREVENTED? IS THERE A VACCINE?  

In the current outbreak in West Africa, the majority of cases in humans have occurred as a result of human-to-human transmission.

Infection occurs from direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people. Infection can also occur if broken skin or mucous membranes of a healthy person come into contact with environments that have become contaminated with an Ebola patient’s infectious fluids such as soiled clothing, bed linen, or used needles. 

Many healthcare workers have been exposed to the virus while caring for Ebola patients. This happens because they may not have been wearing personal protective equipment or were not properly applying infection prevention and control measures when caring for the patients. Healthcare providers at all levels of the healthcare system – hospitals, clinics, and health posts – should be briefed on the nature of the disease and how it is transmitted, and strictly follow recommended infection control precautions. 



 

Currently, there is no licensed medicine or vaccine for Ebola virus disease, but several products are under development.



 

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE) FOR EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE 

 

 

The WHO recommends infection prevention and control measures (IPC) including the use of personal protective equipment for those providing direct or non-direct care to patients with suspected cases of Ebola virus disease. For further details, we specifically refer you to WHO guidance

“Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Care of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Filovirus Haemorrhagic Fever in Health-Care Settings, with focus on Ebola” available at 

http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/filovirus_i nfection_control/en/ 

 

The US CDC has also provided Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment to be Used by Healthcare Workers During Management of Patients with Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals, Including Procedures for Putting On (Donning) and Removing (Doffing). 

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/procedures-for-ppe.html 

 

The guidance recommends use of: 

 

  • Fluid resistant respirator (with some activities requiring specific respiratory protection)
  • Protective clothing 
  • Impermeable gloves 
  • Impermeable footwear 
  • Eye and face protection 

 

Click the link below for a list of Honeywell Safety Products personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in Ebola environments, consistent with CDC guidance.  

Caution:  None of our PPE has been certified or tested specifically for use in Ebola environments. 



Honeywell Safety Products Medical-Related PPE >

 

The purpose of this brief is to provide you with details of some of our PPE that may be suitable for use, subject to CDC guidance, when working in an environment where the Ebola virus may be present or with people affected by the virus. When selecting PPE for particular use it is essential to note that:

The US FDA and Health Canada have issued regulations for products sold into their respective countries regarding Medical Devices used for protection against infectious diseases, including blood-borne pathogens.  However, selection of such products should be based on site-specific assessment. PPE must be selected after making a site-specific assessment taking into consideration potential exposures and the need for protection against infected fluids and other carriers of infection, but also work conditions, environmental conditions, tasks and availability of decontamination facilities. 

Our PPE is certified for use in countries where ANSI or CSA standards or EU certification is valid; please contact your Honeywell representative if your location or your regulations require a different type of certification. 

 

If you are involved in infection control activities relating to the Ebola virus, you should ensure that you have read and are fully familiar with the WHO Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) Guidance available at: 

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/evd-guidance-summary/en/  nd WHO guidance on PPE in the context of Filovirus Disease Outbreak Response at:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/ebola-ppe-guidelines/en/ 

 

Although PPE can prevent infected material from coming into contact with mouth, nose, eyes and broken skin, it is essential that all relevant infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols, and our manufacturer’s user instructions are followed when (i) putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) PPE to avoid contamination, and (ii) when cleaning any re-usable PPE. 

 

OUR PPE IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE USED IN MEDICAL OPERATIONS REQUIRING STERILE PRODUCTS.


None of our PPE has been certified or tested specifically for use in Ebola environments