Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes. How can you avoid the Ebola virus?
Avoid the Ebola Virus
It seems that this outbreak of Ebola is even worse than previous outbreaks. How bad is it? Reuters report on the Ebola outbreak claims that death toll statistics will no longer be released to the public to “avoid causing unnecessary panic.”
Now we’re flying people, infected with Ebola, right into Atlanta! Yes, we now import Ebola!
I find that unsettling.
I also find it disturbing, that there is strong suspicions that this strain may be spread via airborne transmission. This hasn’t been confirmed, but if that’s the case, this might be the one that get us, people!
Ebola Key Facts:
- Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
- EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
- EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
- The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
- Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.
Symptoms of Ebola typically include:
- Joint and muscle aches
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
Some patients may experience:
- A Rash
- Red Eyes (like pink-eye or conjunctivitis in both eyes)
- Sore throat
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bleeding inside and outside of the body
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common.
Protection to help you avoid the Ebola Virus
Prevention efforts focus on avoiding contact with the viruses. The following precautions can help prevent infection and spread of Ebola and Marburg.
- Avoid traveling to areas of known outbreaks. Before traveling to Africa, and now Europe (Italy), find out about any current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
- Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures for Ebola virus and Marburg virus is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person’s body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola or Marburg are most contagious in the later stages of the disease. Remember, infected persons may not even have symptoms!
- Follow infection-control procedures. If you’re a health care worker, wear protective clothing — such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Carefully disinfect and dispose of needles and other instruments. Injection needles and syringes should not be reused.
- Don’t handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.
- This one is very, very important! Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, wild animals, including nonhuman primates, are sold in local markets. Avoid buying or eating any of these animals.
No matter how tempted you are, we must strongly recommend that you avoid eating any fruit bats, whatsoever!
You should also see: “Avoid a Pandemic” for updated information on avoidance and quarantine.