NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- As the threat posed by Ebola becomes more personal with the hospitalization of two American healthcare workers infected with the deadly disease, the U.S. Center for Disease Control has issued a series of new guidelines for those tasked with treating Ebola patients.
The CDC now recommends healthcare workers wear "double gloves, boot covers that are waterproof and go to at least mid-calf or leg covers, single-use fluid resistant or impermeable gown that extends to at least mid-calf or coverall without integrated hood, respirators, including either N95 respirators or powered air purifying respirator (PAPR), single-use full-face shield [and] Surgical hoods to ensure complete coverage of the head and neck."
Additionally, if the Ebola has already progressed to the point of inducing vomiting or diarrhea, the CDC recommends healthcare workers also don an "apron that is waterproof and covers the torso to the level of the mid-calf (and that covers the top of the boots or boot covers)."
"These are a major step forward in protecting workers from Ebola virus infection," Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told USA Today.
"But these recommendations just by themselves do not make for a safer work environment. Training is critical. We need to train people how to use [personal protective equipment] safely and effectively."