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. [32 photos]
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.