PPE Selection Matrix for Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus

OSHA has just put out a new “FactSheet” for PPE Selection Matrix for Occupational Exposure to Ebola Virus. Most useful is the chart on page 2 that clearly outlines what type and what level of PPE should be used based on the type of work and level of contact with an infected person.


Put together primarily for “workers whose jobs involvehealthcare, mortuary/death care, airline and other transportation operations,cleaning and environmental services, law enforcement,” the document is available to anyone who feels he or she might come in contact with the virus.

Click here to download the document.

Protective Clothing for Ebola

From our friends at Dupont…

ChemMax® 1

Lakeland Product Information and Suggestions

Lakeland’s ChemMax1 with sealed seams is well suited for protection in situations where exposure may occur.  Lakeland’s ChemMax1 fabric passes both ASTM F16701 and ASTM F16712 test methods for protection from blood penetration and blood borne pathogens.  ChemMax1 also goes above and beyond the ASTM tests by performing at the highest possible levels in the more comprehensive European Norms (EN) and ISO testing standards related to infectious agents.  The performance of ChemMax1 in testing protocols from around the world, combined with sealed seams for increased protection against fluid penetration; makes it easy to see why many humanitarian groups are trusting Lakeland’s ChemMax1 for protection.

Product Suggestions:

ChemMax 1 C70130

ChemMax 1 C70150


1ASTM F1670 – 08 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Synthetic Blood:  This test determines the ability of a material to resist the penetration of synthetic blood under constant contact. The test sample is mounted on a cell separating the synthetic blood challenge liquid and a viewing port. The time and pressure protocol specifies atmospheric pressure for 5 minutes, 2.0 psi for 1 minute and atmospheric pressure fo 54 minutes. The test is terminated if visible liquid penetration occurs before or at 60 minutes.

2ASTM F 1671  – 13 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi- X174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System: This test determines the ability of a material to resist the penetration of a microorganism under constant contact using a method which has been specifically designed for modeling penetration of HBV, HCV, and HIV. Because these organisms are difficult to use, the test uses a bacteriophage, Phi-X174, one of the smallest known viruses, at 0.027 microns (μ) in diameter, similar in size and shape to Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), the smallest known bloodborne viral pathogen. A bacteriophage is a virus that attacks bacteria.



Ebola (Part two)

As a follow up to the post of last week on the Ebola scare and making sure that you are well informed.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has released an “Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for Management of Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Virus Disease in the United States” web pages to help alleviate fears and generally give guidance about how to protect against the Ebola virus.

The page is a pretty comprehensive guide to what Ebola is and isn’t, how it is contracted and how to protect against it.

It is designed primarily for emergency personnel such as EMS and 911 responders but the information is applicable to everyone.

View the information here.

Get the Facts about Ebola

A few years back, Barry Glassner wrote “The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things. It’s a good read and one that most of us could benefit from reading.

The premise of the book is that media is in the business of getting viewers. In order to do that, news has to be sensational and shocking. What this means is that they take a few isolated incidents and turn them into sensational news stories designed to frighten us so that we’ll keep tuning in to find out more.

I bring this up because of the Ebola scare going around right now.

The best way to calm the fears and put things into perspective is to get the facts. Just because a couple of people who were recently in Africa have contracted Ebola does not mean that we need to go into panic mode. The Ebola Virus Disease (EBD) is only contracted through bodily contact and transmitted through bodily fluids. It can also be contracted through contact with certain species of animals that are carriers (fruit bats, monkeys and apes notably) or by eating their raw meat. I don’t know about you but I haven’t eaten any raw fruit bat meat recently so I’m pretty sure I don’t have a lot to worry about on that count.

Get the facts on the Ebola Virus Disease from the World Health Organization website. Knowledge is power when it comes to not loosing sleep worrying about things like Ebola.

Ebola facts and awareness


With the virus Ebola in the news a lot recently and I have had a few questions about it. I wanted to share some of the Ebola virus facts and awareness. Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. The 2014 is the worst Ebola outbreak on record is currently unfolding in West Africa, and it’s been a long affair that has infected more than 1,000, killed more than 700 people, and has yet to show any signs of slowing down. Here’s the most basic facts you should know about Ebola:

Ebola spreads through close contact The disease is usually acquired when a person comes into contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal such as a monkey or fruit bat. You are not likely to catch Ebola just by being in proximity with someone who has the virus; it is not airborne, like the flu or respiratory viruses such as SARS.

People with Ebola generally aren’t infectious until they’re sick Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days but usually appear in 8 to 10 days.

Ebola doesn’t change as fast as some other viruses. The virus can survive on surfaces for a long period of time, so any object contaminated with bodily fluids, like a latex glove or a hypodermic needle, may spread the disease

People can survive Ebola. But the fatality rate is very high and varies from 40-90% fatality rate for people who contract Ebola.


Because the natural reservoir of ebola viruses has not yet been proven, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers have hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal. When an infection does occur in humans, there are several ways in which the virus can be transmitted to others. These include:

· direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person

· exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions

The viruses that cause Ebola are often spread through families and friends because they come in close contact with infectious secretions when caring for ill persons. During recent outbreak of Ebola , the disease can spread quickly within health care settings (such as a clinic or hospital). Exposure to ebola viruses can occur in health care settings where hospital staff are not wearing appropriate protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves. Proper cleaning and disposal of instruments, such as needles and syringes, is also important. If instruments are not disposable, they must be sterilized before being used again. Without adequate sterilization of the instruments, virus transmission can continue and amplify an outbreak

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common. Some who become sick with Ebola are able to recover, while others do not. The reasons behind this are not yet fully understood. However, it is known that patients who die usually have not developed a significant immune response to the virus at the time of death. Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly with Ebola virus. Early signs and symptoms include:

· Fever

· Severe headache

· Joint and muscle aches

· Chills

· Weakness

Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include:

· Nausea and vomiting

· Diarrhea (may be bloody)

· Red eyes

· Raised rash

· Chest pain and cough

· Stomach pain

· Severe weight loss

· Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices)

· Internal bleeding

· Multiple organ failure

· Seizures

· Coma

· Shock

One reason the viruses are so deadly is that they interfere with the immune system’s ability to mount a defense. But scientists don’t understand why some people recover from Ebola and others don’t. For people who survive, recovery is slow. It may take months to regain weight and strength, and the viruses remain in the body for weeks. People may experience:

· Hair loss

· Sensory changes

· Liver inflammation (hepatitis)

· Weakness

· Fatigue

· Headaches

· Eye inflammation

Risk of Exposure

In Africa, confirmed cases of Ebola HF have been reported in:

· Guinea

· Liberia

· Sierra Leone

· Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

· Gabon

· South Sudan

· Ivory Coast

· Uganda

· Republic of the Congo (ROC)

· South Africa (imported)

The natural reservoir host of ebola viruses, and the manner in which transmission of the virus to humans occurs, remain unknown. This makes risk assessment in endemic areas difficult. With the exception of several laboratory contamination cases (one in England and two in Russia), all cases of human illness or death have occurred in Africa; no case has been reported in the United States

What’s the cure for Ebola?

Right now, there isn’t one. Doctors typically provide supportive care to patients, which may include oxygen, blood transfusion and fluids and treating subsequent infections. All physicians can do is try to nurse people through the illness, using fluids and medicines to maintain blood pressure, and treat other infections that often strike their weakened bodies. Experimental serums are being tested, an American woman just received an experimental serum.

Could Ebola spread beyond West Africa to the United States or Europe?

Theoretically, a person infected with Ebola but experiencing no symptoms could fly outside the region. But experts say even if an infected person did arrive in the United States, the disease would be unlikely to spread. The CDC has issued an alert to doctors and hospitals across the country, urging them to ask about the travel history of any patients who present with Ebola-like symptoms. Any infected person could be quickly put in isolation.

Information provided by CDC, WHO, Mayo clinic and WebMd.

Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security for Plateau