Requirements and technical specifications of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the novel coronavirus (2019-ncov) in healthcare settings. Interim recommendations, 2/6/2020
Pan American Health Organization
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In December 2019 a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative agent of a severe acute respiratory illness among people exposed in a seafood market in Wuhan, China; • Human-to-human transmission has been documented, including in healthcare workers, and aerosol-generating procedures (AGP)† may play a role in the spread of the disease; • There are uncertainties in the natural history of the 2019-nCoV, including source(s), transmissibility mechanisms, viral shedding, and persistence of the virus in the environment and on fomites; • As of 6 February 2020, the following precautions are recommended for the care of patients with suspected or confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV: o For any suspected or confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV: standard + contact + droplet precautions o For any suspected or confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV and AGP: standard + contact + airborne precautions • The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare workers requires an evaluation of the risk related to healthcare-related activities; • These recommendations are preliminary and subject to review as new evidence becomes available. The figures presented in this technical recommendation are rough estimates and based upon simulation exercises on the use of PPE during previous outbreaks with similar transmission modes, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). • The number of PPE units should vary according to disease severity and the number of aerosol-generating procedures per patient. • Suspected and confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV should be isolated in adequately ventilated single rooms. When single rooms are not available, patients suspected of being infected with 2019-nCoV should be grouped together (cohort). • For each patient/day it is recommended§: o Gown – 25 units. o Medical mask – 25 units.