Thursday, October 16, 2014

University Of Minnesota Study: Ebola May Be Airborne

For some, that conclusion is no longer in dispute but the report also indicates that the protective gear presently being worn by health care workers is totally inadequate and offers no real protection from the disease.

(Inquistr) Ebola may have the potential to be airborne, according to a September report submitted to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. The authors believe "scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients."

The scientists behind the report warn that surgical facemasks will not prevent the transmission of Ebola. According to the report, medical workers must immediately be given full-hooded protective gear and powered air-purifying respirators.

An excerpt from the report — submitted to CIDRAP by the authors, “who are national experts on respiratory protection and infectious disease transmission” — reads, "Healthcare workers play a very important role in the successful containment of outbreaks of infectious diseases like Ebola. The correct type and level of personal protective equipment (PPE) ensures that healthcare workers remain healthy throughout an outbreak—and with the current rapidly expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa, it’s imperative to favor more conservative measures."

The report goes on to note that any action which can be taken to "reduce risk" of Ebola exposure should not wait until a “scientific certainty” develops.

"The minimum level of protection in high-risk settings should be a respirator with an assigned protection factor greater than 10. A powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with a hood or helmet offers many advantages over an N95 filtering facepiece or similar respirator, being more protective, comfortable, and cost-effective in the long run,” the report also adds.

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Posted By: Chris Carmouche