Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

How doctors are protecting themselves from deadly Ebola: Two pairs of gloves, thick boots and a domed helmet help health workers fight the virus in 30°C heat

A domed helmet, thick boots and overalls coated in a special plastic. This is the suit designed to keep British medics free from Ebola, as they head for parts of west Africa ravaged by the disease. The first wave of NHS volunteers were deployed by the Government this weekend. They were sent to Sierra Leone to join the global effort to control the epidemic. The group of 30 volunteers is made up of GPs, nurses, psychiatrists and emergency medicine consultants.  After arriving in Sierra Leone’s captital, Freetown, they will complete a week of training before moving to British-built Ebola treatment centres across the virus-ravaged nation. There, they will help diagnose and treat those who have fallen victim to Ebola, which has killed more than 5,000 people – the majority in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. In their fight against the deadly disease, the health workers have been kitted out with special protective suits, made by four British companies. The suits leave no part of a healthcare workers body exposed, providing a crucial barrier designed to keep them safe.  The outfits include white overalls coated with a special plastic, which stops bodily fluids including blood, vomit and diarrhoea – which all carry the virus – from passing through the protective layer.

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