Texas is using a secret ingredient to fight any future Ebola cases. Here are a few clues: it is red, probably in many kitchens in the South, and spicy. The ingredient is Tabasco sauce.
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center sprays dummies representing patients with the sauce instead of “Ebola virus-laden fluids.” If the doctors and nurses “feel the tingle of Tabasco on their skin, they know they’ve been contaminated.” Executive Vice President Dr. Bruce Meyer said the sauce “gives feedback immediately.” According to ABC News:
Tabasco sauce is made by Louisiana-based McIlhenny Co. from red peppers called Capsicum frutescens, which are made spicy by the chemical capsaicin. When skin comes in contact with this chemical, the brain’s pain and temperature receptors get activated at the same time, causing that tingly, hot feeling. The hot pepper chemical has also been used in other medical settings, including dermatology and neurology for pain and itch relief.
The Capsicum peppers can aid in “weight loss, GI conditions, postoperative nausea, and rhinitis.” WebMD also reports it can be used for heart and blood vessel conditions, such as “poor circulation, excessive blood clotting, high cholesterol, and preventing heart disease.” Experts are now testing the peppers in connection with migraines and osteoarthritis.
Two nurses in Dallas contracted Ebola after treating Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Experts believe the ladies were contaminated while removing their protective gear.
“When you have gone into contaminated gloves, masks or other things to remove those without risk of contaminated material touching you and being then on your clothes or face or skin and leading to an infection is critically important and not easy to do right,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
On Friday morning, doctors declared Nina Pham, 26, Ebola-free.