Even our best protective suits can’t always stop Ebola. A big reason why is that the companies that design these suits for factory settings–with separate pants, shirts, shoes, gloves, and headgear–have little financial incentive to construct them in one big, easily removable part to avoid microbial contamination when removed in the field.
Now, a 65-person team at Johns Hopkins has developed a prototype for a breakaway suit that’s far easier to doff. It features a tether on each arm. You bend over, place the tethers under your feet, pull your body upward, and the whole suit (complete with the outer layer of gloves) comes off. The project has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for further development.