Wrapped in Plastic: Preparing for Ebola

As several African nations struggle to contain outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus, and other countries ready themselves for any possible spread, images of healthcare workers wrapped in colorful personal protective equipment have become symbolic of the fight against the disease. In Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, local health providers and international volunteers protect themselves as best as they can, while caring for the sick and dying and disposing of infected belongings. In other countries, health professionals are making plans, preparing to handle any possible Ebola cases, and demonstrating their methods and protective gear for the press and government officials.
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1. A health care worker of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy hospital of Monrovia wearing a protective suit enters the high-risk area of the hospital, the surgical section where Ebola patients are being treated, on September 3, 2014.




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2. Nowa Paye, 9, is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, about 30 miles north of Monrovia, Liberia, on September 30, 2014. Three members of District 13 ambulance service traveled to the village to pickup six suspected Ebola sufferers that had been quarantined by villagers.




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3. Ward physician Thomas Klotzkowski and doctor for tropical medicine Florian Steiner (left) wear protective suits as they walk in the quarantine station for patients with infectious diseases at the Charite hospital in Berlin on August 11, 2014.




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4. Ward physician Thomas Klotzkowski cleans Doctor Florian Steiner in a disinfection chamber at the quarantine station for patients with infectious diseases at the Charite hospital in Berlin on August 11, 2014. The isolation ward is one of several centers in Germany equipped to treat patients suffering from Ebola and other highly infectious diseases.




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5. A burial team wearing protective clothes prepare an Ebola virus victim for interment, in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, on September 27, 2014.




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6. Sanitized gloves and boots hang to dry as a burial team collects Ebola victims from a Ministry of Health treatment center for cremation on October 2, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia.




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7. A Spanish nurse infected with Ebola is moved to Carlos III Hospital from Alcorcon Hospital on October 7, 2014 in Alcorcon, Spain. Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato confirmed the nurse had tested positive after treating two Ebola patients that had been brought back to the country from Africa.




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8. An ambulance carrying a Spanish nurse who believed to have contracted the Ebola virus from a 69-year-old Spanish priest, leaves Alcorcon Hospital in Madrid, Spain, on October 7, 2014.




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9. Red Cross workers carry away the body of a person suspected of dying from the Ebola virus, in the Liberian capital Monrovia, on October 4, 2014.




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10. A health worker interviews a sick man after he arrived at a Ministry of Health treatment center for Ebola patients on October 2, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia.




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11. Italian Air Force soldiers attend a military exercise preparing to help people infected with the Ebola virus, at the Pratica di Mare Air Base, near Rome, on September 24, 2014.




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12. Czech military personnel wearing protective gear take part in a drill with a dummy in the Biological Defence Centre, a specialized medical institution ensuring complete biological defense, in the village of Techonin, on August 11, 2014. The Biological Defence Department is involved in the NATO biological defense system and is equipped for treatment of possible Ebola virus patients.




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13. Chinese quarantine officers board the Alpha Friendship, a bulk carrier carrying ore from Sierra Leone, for an inspection on August 19, 2014, as the ship berths in the quarantine anchorage waiting for its entry in the port at Qingdao.




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14. Health workers in protective suits greet a woman who has come to deliver food to relatives at Island Hospital where people suffering from the Ebola virus are being treated in Monrovia, Liberia, on September 30, 2014.




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15. A visitor is decontaminated by a health worker at Island Hospital as he arrives to deliver food to relatives suffering from the Ebola virus in Monrovia on September 26, 2014.




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16. A researcher wearing protective gear works in the P4 European High Level Security Laboratory (EHLS) in Lyon, France.




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17. A man pushes a wheelbarrow containing a woman thought to be a victim of the Ebola virus at the Ebola treatment center at Island hospital in Monrovia on October 2, 2014.




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18. Health inspection officers help a mock patient get into a negative-pressure isolation stretcher, during a drill to demonstrate the procedures of transporting an Ebola victim, at Shenzhen Entry-exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, on August 14, 2014.




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19. Medical staff wearing sealed protective suits work during the arrival of an Ebola patient at the University Hospital Frankfurt in Germany on October 3, 2014.




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20. Aid workers and doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest who was infected with the Ebola virus while working in Liberia, from a plane to an ambulance as he leaves the Torrejon de Ardoz military airbase, near Madrid, Spain, on August 7, 2014.




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21. A nurse wears protective clothing as he demonstrates the facilities in place at the Royal Free Hospital in north London on August 6, 2014, in preparation for a patient testing positive for the Ebola virus. Despite high mortality levels, Consultant Stephen Mepham advised against panic, stating that the chances of meeting an undiagnosed patient are virtually impossible with next to no chance of catching the virus without exposure to the sufferer's bodily fluids.




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22. Medical staff members burn clothes belonging to patients suffering from Ebola, at the international medical NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Monrovia, on September 27, 2014.




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23. A medical staff member of the Croix Rouge NGO disinfects his badge after collecting the corpse of a victim of Ebola in Monrovia on September 29, 2014.




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24. A hazardous material cleaner removes a wrapped item from the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who traveled from Liberia to Dallas, stayed last week, in Dallas, on October 6, 2014. Duncan has been hospitalized at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since September 28.




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25. Volunteers train at a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) replica of Ebola treatment centers, prior to be sent to help fight the spread of the deadly virus in Africa, in Brussels, on October 1, 2014.




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26. Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, on July 20, 2014.




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27. Gloves and rubber boots forming part of the Ebola prevention gear for health workers are set outside for the sun to dry them after being washed in Monrovia on September 8, 2014.




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28. A health worker sprays a man with disinfectant chemicals as he is suspected of dying due to the Ebola virus while people look on in Monrovia on September 4, 2014.




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29. A doctor for tropical medicine wearing an isolation suit speaks to journalists during a demonstration for the media of Ebola treatment capabilities at Station 59 at Charite hospital on August 11, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.




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30. A paramedic from the fire department stands after showing the media how to put on a protective suit, during a demonstration in Panama City, Panama, on October 2, 2014. The Ministry of Health in Panama is providing more protective suits for hospitals and airports, as measures against a possible Ebola outbreak, local media said.




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31. A burial team from the Liberian Ministry of Health unloads bodies of Ebola victims onto a funeral pyre at a crematorium on August 22, 2014 in Marshall, Liberia.




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32. A Doctors Without Borders (MSF), health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in the MSF treatment center on October 5, 2014 in Paynesville, Liberia. The girl and her mother, showing symptoms of the deadly disease, were awaiting test results for the virus. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 3,400 people in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.