Ebola Virus Information
Since the Ebola seems on the way out of Liberia and into this country and others, it is good to understand it.
Ebola Virus Infection
Ebola is a rare but deadly virus that causes bleeding inside and outside the body.
As the virus spreads through the body, it damages the immune system and organs. Ultimately, it causes levels of blood-clotting cells to drop.
This leads to severe, uncontrollable bleeding.
The disease, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola virus, kills up to 90% of people who are infected
Symptoms show up 2 to 21 days after infection and usually include:
Joint and muscle aches.
Lack of appetite.
How Is Ebola Treated?
There’s no cure for Ebola, though researchers are working on it. Treatment includes an experimental serum that destroys infected cells.
Doctors manage the symptoms of Ebola with:
Fluids and electrolytes
Blood pressure medication
Treatment for other infections
How Can You Prevent Ebola?
There’s no vaccine to prevent Ebola.
The best way to avoid catching the disease is by not traveling to areas where the virus is found.
Health care workers can prevent infection by wearing masks, gloves, and goggles whenever they come into contact with people who may have Ebola.
It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts.
Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD.
This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.
Burial ceremonies in which mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can also play a role in the transmission of Ebola.
People remain infectious as long as their blood and body fluids, including semen and breast milk, contain the virus. Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness
**note respiratory secretions – sneezing, mouth fluids, coughing, can spread disease
Prevention and control
Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission from direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids.
Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home.
Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
Outbreak containment measures including prompt and safe burial of the dead, identifying people who may have been in contact with someone infected with Ebola, monitoring the health of contacts for 21 days, the importance of separating the healthy from the sick to prevent further spread, the importance of good hygiene and maintaining a clean environment.
Do not go to large public areas or meetings
Wear face mask if immune system weak
Wash hands with hot soap and water after touching objects, door handles, shopping carts, etc
Carry hand wipes with you to use immediately after touching surfaces.
Be vigilant, and watch for any symptoms.
Immediately contact doctors if suspect anything for early treatment.
Holiday season is here for many. Shop locally, instead of in big malls.