Epidemic Protective Clothing and Equipment

Epidemic Protective Clothing and Equipment

Ebola outbreak in Sierra LeoneWhenever there is any sort of viral outbreak or potential epidemic, you will always see rescue and medical personnel wearing protective clothing.

Specific epidemic protective clothing and equipment is essential for both the medical teams and the victims themselves.

Most viruses can be very quickly identified and their severity categorized in order to establish the methods of virus transfer.  

Once the virus has been identified, it will then dictate the level of protection required for the medical team workers. Although, with most outbreaks, the medical and civilians will fully ‘suit up’ in the early stages to ensure full body protection – this is just normal procedure.

If the virus is identified as being an airborne virus – one that can only be caught by breathing in through the mouth or nose, then the very minimum requirements are a good respiratory mask.

ebola disease virus image of virus under microscopeWith the current outbreaks of the Ebola Disease Virus it is known that the virus spreads through contact with an infected person and more specifically, through body fluids – this would include saliva, sweat, blood and vomit.

Common symptoms of the Ebola Virus are, sudden temperature, muscle aches, vomiting or a rash, these might indicate you have the disease.

Of course the best way to avoid catching just about anything is to distance yourself from the area and anyone who may have the virus.

Having said that, there are specific procedures and processes laid down by the CDC ( Centre for Disease Control and Prevention ) which are the first line of defence to protect anyone who may be in a high risk area.


Again, using Ebola as the typical example:

If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following:

  • Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
  • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
  • After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop and signs or symptoms of Ebola.

* taken directly from the CDC prevention literature information.

What is the correct Epidemic Protective Clothing and Equipment for people..?

1) For the Ebola Disease Virus, the absolute, very minimum is a Standard Surgical Face Mask like the one shown here.

This will give you adequate protection against any infected body fluids and stop any the fluids from entering the nose and mouth – and this includes someone sneezing!

This type of mask is cheap to buy, disposable and will give you ample protection.

* Remember, you are not trying to filter the air – purely protecting your mouth and nose area.

There are other types of face mask available that will give the same protection as shown here:


ebola girl with bandanna maskOf course, as preppers you should already be carrying a couple good dust masks in your EDC bag.

– if not, and there is potential contact with an infected person, you would use a bandanna, hanky, scarf or anything else to stop ingestion through the nose and mouth.

2) Eye Protection – Fluids can also be ingested into your body via the eyes – sneezes, splashes, rubbing your eyes with infected hands – these are all means of entry into your body.

The eye protection must be fully enclosed, like the Baratec Eye Protection (Against Liquid And Dust) as shown here.

Mouth, Nose and Eye protection are your minimum requirements to prevent any infected fluids from getting in.

3) Disposable Gloves – if you are liable to be touching anything to do with an infected person, you must wear medical gloves – double gloving is also better. Medical grade gloves are preferred, like the MediGuard Nitrile Disposable Glove shown here.

4) Disposable Coveralls – should you have a cut or open wound, a graze or similar, and you are in contact with the virus, it can still ‘get in’ via these routes.

So your next level is to cover your body with a disposable coverall, using something like the Tyvek Disposable Coverall like these shown here. 

Personal Hygiene Requirements.

It is very important to remember what you have actually touched with your bare hands. A virus can stay on your hands and as soon as you rub your eyes or put your hand near your mouth it can be transmitted into your body.

It is very important to sanitize your hands with a medical gel sanitizer.

The antiseptic gel must be hospital grade, alcohol based and used every time, before and after putting on any gloves.

The Purell Antibacterial Alcohol Hand Rub Gel Cleanser Sanitiser shown here is an ideal choice to carry with you.



Remember – all these measures are pretty common sense, as is ‘avoiding contact with an infected person’, if the virus is unknown, it is advisable to take maximum precautions where possible and fully equip yourself with as much protective wear as you can.

A good prepper will have several of these items already – but always ensure you have enough for yourself AND your family – always be prepared……



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