Texas health workers preparing to treat any future Ebola cases found a great, but rather surprising, training tool: Tabasco sauce.
At the University of Texas South Western Medical Center, health workers have been treating fake patients who have been randomly sprayed with Tabasco as a stand-in for Ebola virus-laden fluids, ABC News reports.
Tabasco is made from a pepper called Capsicum Florescens, which contains a chemical called Capsaicin. Once skin comes in contact with it, the brain’s pain and temperature receptors get activated.
“Doctors and nurses practice dressing and undressing in their protective gear to avoid contamination, but if they feel the tingle of Tabasco on their skin, they know they’ve been contaminated,” reports ABC. This idea came from Dr. Doramarie Arocha, the director of infection prevention at the hospital. After workers disrobe from their protective gear, Arocha makes them rub their eyes and touch their mouths to check whether or not an itching sensation occurs.
Before Arocha’s innovative use of tabasco, the staff used a blend of water and ketchup during their training drills, nurse ElizabethThomas told ABC News.
Here’s some more fascinating stuff from today:
Entire family is paralyzed after mistakenly eating fugu. [Grub Street]
Recipe: fried chicken skin with hot sauce and honey [Serious Eats]
Could Google Glass be the best way to train fast-food employees? [Business Insider]