Ebola Epidemic and Prepping For It

Ebola-2With the Ebola epidemic occurring in Africa it has most preppers in DEFCON 2. The CDC states that “The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first Ebola epidemic the world has ever known – affecting multiple countries in West Africa.” Now according to the CDC and numerous media outlets the first case of Ebola has been confirmed in the United States. On September 30, 2014, through laboratory test it was confirmed a person in Dallas, Texas who had recently traveled on a commercial airline from West Africa to the US had Ebola.

Now of course we have all been told by medical professionals and the CDC that Ebola can only spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with bodily fluids, objects that have been contaminated with the virus and infected animals. We have been told that there is a zero chance of the virus spreading in the US and that it only occurs in the poorer parts of the world. There is no vaccine at this time, although two experimental vaccines are being tested right now.

The CDC has even recommended that people on the same commercial flight NOT to undergo monitoring. The CDC has also stated that it can stem any potential spread through isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. According to other statements by the CDC, US hospitals have been upping surveillance and lab testing capacity.

Then we have other reports such as the report from Infowars.com titled “Flashback: Ebola Goes Airborne, Causes Outbreak in Medical Lab” by Kit Daniels. The article reports that “A mutated Ebola virus likely spread through the ventilation system of a Virginia medical lab in 1989 and infected dozens of monkeys in separate research rooms, highlighting the current potential of an airborne Ebola strain could kill millions of people.” The article cited a statement wrote by Lisa A. Beltz in the book “Emerging Infectious Diseases“ – “Due to the spread of infection to animals in all parts of the quarantine facility, it is likely that Ebola Reston may have been spread by airborne transmission.” It was also noted that “On several subsequent occasions during 1989, 1990 and 1996, Ebola Reston killed monkeys in colonies in the United States.”

Ebola-3The article also reports, “The 1989 incident validates concerns that a new, airborne strain of Ebola could infect humans and such a mutated strain could already exist. Because Ebola doesn’t replicate itself perfectly every time it infects a victim, each new infection represents a potential mutation of the disease.”

I don’t know about you but just one such article is enough to cause concern for me and my family. Especially when you read how the State Department is taking the threat of Ebola so seriously they recently ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits. That’s well over 100 times the number of federal workers currently in Western Africa according to article by Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars.com titled “U.S. State Department Orders 160,000 Ebola Hazmat Suits”

That brings me to the precautions I am taking for my family and thought it a good idea I share with you. During my research through the internet and the CDC the best information of course came from the CDC. The ones I am not so sure I trust completely when comes to Ebola and the possible fact that it could be airborne, when they have stated nothing about this.

They do have a number of articles and documents in regards to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The thing I question is that all the information is directed toward health care workers/ providers and nothing for the general public. One of the documents I did find “CDC PDF document Guidance for the Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Healthcare Settings” seems to have some of the best information.

Ebola-4Just in case you do not know PPE is defined as “personal protective equipment – specialized clothing and equipment worn by a person for protection against infectious materials”. The recommendations in this particular document are for any potential infectious disease. PPE equipment recommended is as follows.

  • Gloves
  • Gown (fluid resistant or impermeable)
  • Eye protection (goggles or face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face)
  • Facemask (minimum a N95)
  • Additional PPE might be required in certain situations (e.g., large amounts of blood and body fluids present in the environment), including but not limited to double gloving, disposable shoe covers, and leg coverings.
  • In addition to recommended PPE, respiratory protection that is at least as protective as a NIOSH certified N95 filtering facepiece respirator or higher should be worn (instead of a facemask).

Of course I don’t expect any of my family members to be donning all this PPE every time they leave the house. I have added gloves, a fluid resistant gown, goggles, and of course a NIOSH certified N100 facemask to our bug-out/ get-home bags. I am working on getting us full blown gas mask/ respiratory equipment just in case. I found all my equipment from aprgaskmask.com who happens to be one of our advertisers.

I also wanted to provide you with a little info on respiratory protection more specifically facemask to protect against any infectious materials. NIOSH – Approved Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators are as listed below.

N95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Not resistant to oil.

Surgical N95 A NIOSH-approved N95 respirator that has also been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a surgical mask.

N99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. Not resistant to oil.

N100 – Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles. Not resistant to oil.

R95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Somewhat resistant to oil.

P95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Strongly resistant to oil.

P99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. Strongly resistant to oil.

P100 – Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles. Strongly resistant to oil.

The following information is a little dry reading but wanted to provide it.

All of these individual filtering facepiece respirators are required to have the following markings:

  1. Name of Approval holder/manufacturer business name, a registered trademark, or an easily understood abbreviation of the applicant/approval holder’s business name as recognized by NIOSH. When applicable, the name of the entity to which the FFR has been private labeled by the approval holder may replace the approval holder business name, registered trademark, or abbreviation of the approval holder business name as recognized by NIOSH.
  2. NIOSH in block letters or the NIOSH logo
  3. NIOSH Testing and Certification approval number, e.g. TC-84A-XXXX.
  4. NIOSH filter series and filter efficiency level, e.g. N95, N99, N100, R95, P95, P99, P100
  5. Model Number or part number: The approval holder’s respirator model number or part number, represented by a series of numbers or alphanumeric markings, e.g. 8577 or 8577A.

NIOSH recommends the lot number and/or date of manufacture also be included, however, this is not required.

Sample of a generic filtering facepiece respirator with appropriate markings.

facemask

Filtering facepiece respirators that are private labeled are required to have the following statement on the packaging as a special S caution and limitation statement identified on the full label and located in the respirator user instructions:

  • Marketed by xxxxxx (the private label company name).
  • Produced by xxxxxx (the approval holder company name).
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