Ebola Can Be Transmitted Via Infectious Aerosol Particles: Health Workers Need Respirators, not Masks

Ebola Virus - Cynthia Goldsmith
Ebola Virus - The Face of Death

By Lisa M Brosseau, ScD and Rachael Jones, PhD
Global Research, October 15, 2014
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy 17 September 2014


The precautionary principle—that any action designed to reduce risk should not await scientific certainty—compels the use of respiratory protection for a pathogen like Ebola virus that has:

No proven pre- or post-exposure treatment modalities
A high case-fatality rate
Unclear modes of transmission

We believe there is 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, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks.1

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.

We strongly urge the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to seek funds for the purchase and transport of PAPRs to all healthcare workers currently fighting the battle against Ebola throughout Africa—and beyond.

Link to the complete Original Article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/ebola-can-be-transmitted-via-infectious-aerosol-particles-health-workers-need-respirators-not-masks/5408022

CIDRAP Editor’s Note: Today’s commentary was submitted to CIDRAP by the authors, who are national experts on respiratory protection and infectious disease transmission. In May they published a similar commentary on MERS-CoV. Dr Brosseau is a Professor and Dr Jones an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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