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Treating Ebola: 'Every Millimeter of Skin is Completely Covered'

A sanitation specialist working for Doctors Without Borders discusses taking care of Ebola-stricken patients in Liberia.
Cokie van der Velde, a sanitation specialist working for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, recently returned home to England after spending a month in Liberia helping patients with Ebola. She describes the situation on the ground. "If you go to the high-risk zone, you have to prepare," she tells NBC News. "So you start off putting one set of gloves on, then you put your waterproof suit on, then you put on a facemask and a hood, then goggles, then the rest of the pairs of gloves which are taped down to your suit. So you're completely protected, every millimeter of skin is completely covered."
During the month she was there, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia escalated. By the time she left, treatment beds in Monrovia were overflowing and the morgue was full. "Every day brings more and more cases," she said. She says she doesn't worry about catching Ebola because it's only spread by contact with someone who's symptomatic, through contact with bodily fluids. "We do get people who survive," she said. "It's always a fantastic moment, a great feeling, when someone comes out and has beaten it."



— Joy Jernigan