- Johns Hopkins developed an Ebola protection suit, with input from Jhpiego
- The suit can protect people on the front lines of the Ebola crisis
- Dupont was entrusted with the commercialization of the garment
- Suit features a rear zipper and a ‘cocoon-style’ removal
- The garment may include an integrated hood with a large clear visor
Ebola is deadly, and the virus can infect people so quickly. The virus has caused significant mortality, with reported case fatality rates of up to 70%. Unfortunately, in the ongoing Ebola epidemic in two West African countries, many healthcare volunteers have also got infected by the virus.
With this in mind, the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) has developed an Ebola protection suit, with input from Jhpiego, an international, nonprofit health organization affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University. According to the scientists, the suit can protect people on the front lines of the Ebola crisis.
Dupont, a global leader in personal protective apparel, was entrusted with the commercialization of the garment. With the agreement between John Hopkins and DuPont, the suit is expected to be available in the market by the first half of 2016.
DuPont’s design on the prototype of John Hopkins will feature a rear zipper and a ‘cocoon-style’ removal, or doffing, process that requires far fewer steps to reduce risk. The DuPont garment may include an integrated hood with a large clear visor.
“This unique collaboration brings together the biomedical ingenuity of Johns Hopkins, the global healthcare experience of Jhpiego and the strategic industrial innovations of DuPont to help save lives worldwide. Although this project was triggered by the recent Ebola outbreak, we believe the improved protective suit’s design will be impactful in future infectious disease outbreaks as well,” said Youseph Yazdi, executive director of CBID.
Marc Doyle, senior vice president DuPont Safety & Protection, added, “Our participation in the USAID Grand Challenge and subsequent collaboration with Johns Hopkins and Jhpiego is an example of how DuPont engages with partners to address a global challenge. We look forward to the next step of making this protective apparel solution available where it is needed for both emergency response and preparedness.”
Jhpiego will field-test the DuPont prototype garment in Liberia, where people still live under the threat of Ebola. Jhpiego has deep roots in the country and experience in health systems strengthening and training of healthcare volunteers.