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WHO: Following Routine is Key in Preventing Ebola Infection

Update Date: Nov 01, 2014 12:16 PM EDT

The World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated the importance of following the routines in order to prevent getting infected with the Ebola virus. The United Nations (UN) health agency added that stringent routines are more important than the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that health care workers use.

"The choice of (protective equipment) is much less important than the way it is used," said Edward Kelley, head of service delivery and safety at the WHO, reported by Medical Xpress.

During his presentation regarding the updated WHO guidelines, Kelley stressed that getting infected with Ebola while on the job was not linked directly to the kind of gear that was worn, but rather, to how the gear was put on and taken off. The risk of infection increased particularly when workers took off facial gear. Kelley added that in-depth training on how to properly use PPE to prevent infections is important.

All health care workers are required to wear full-bodied suits. However, there is not one universal suit. Health care workers can select different kinds of equipment. For example, the medical professionals can choose between wearing a face shield or goggles. They can also pick between wearing a gown or coveralls. In the updated WHO guidelines, the agency recommends people to wear a facemask that does not fall against the mouth and double gloves.

As of October 31, the Ebola outbreak has infected 13,567 people and has killed 4,951. The virus has shown up in eight countries but the outbreak is mainly concentrated in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. For more information on the outbreak, click here.

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