Word has spread fast about the first Ebola Case in the united states. An individual in Dallas, Texas was confirmed as having Ebola. A second individual who is related to patient 0 is also being quarantined and treated is not yet confirmed but may also be affected. Prior to this confirmed case there had been 14 suspected cases that turned out not to be, and plenty of speculation as to the virus getting in via the illegals cross through our now wide open mexico board. It was soon discovered that he was in direct contact with children since re-entering the USA. Of course this has sparked conversation about Ebola in the USA. Which until now has been something we have been witnessing ravage Africa and killing thousands. As well crazy sounding stories have emerged about Ebola Zombies. how two individuals in completely separate areas were pronounced dead and about to be buried but soon after came back to life. This then brings up discussions about the Zombie apocalypse made popular by shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead.
At this time there is no need for panic that this is going to be knocking on your front door. With all the media hype I decided it would be helpful to sift through the noise and provide the best information on what’s happening, what we know about it and how to protect yourself.
How Ebola is Transmitted
Ebola is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids; Such as Blood, Sweat, Spit, urine, Semen, vomit, feces, mucus or any other liquid from the body. Unless the person is showing symptoms such as fever,etc they cannot infect another person. The virus is not airbourne. While there has been one speculated incident that suggested that Ebola traveled airbourne between a monkey and a pig. This has not been confirmed and there is a chance one animal came in contact with the waste of the other some how.
Ebola’s Incubation period
Someone can be infected and show no symptoms for up to 21 days after being infected. They will then continue to get sicker and sicker.
Symptoms of Ebola
The early signs of Ebola can be similar to flu-like symptoms, including: fever, severe headaches, general weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and unexplained bruising or bleeding. In its later stages, according to the NIH, the disease causes a severe rash; bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth, and rectum; and death.
How many people are infected
So far as of September 23rd the count across all of Africa was 6,574 reported cases and 3,091 people dead. There have been a total of 6 people to date in the USA with Ebola. 5 of the 6 where flown in to receive treatment and diagnosed outside the USA. The other case was reported in Dallas and has caused a scary wake up call. Now knowing that this patient may have exposed others in the USA before receiving treatment.
Is there a cure for Ebola?
No. There have been a few experimental drugs to treat it but so far there are no known vaccines or cures for the virus.
How is Ebola Treated?
Treatment includes Receiving and IV to maintain body fluids and Electrolytes, controlling blood pressure and oxygen levels and dealing with any secondary infections as they appear. The true cure for this is the person’s own immune system. Following an infection that individual will produce antibodies that can make them immune for 10+ years.
What are the survival rates of Ebola
Looking purely at cases to deaths the rate is considered a 50% survival rate. However the actual Survival rate depends on the medical care that is available. Within the United States the survival rate so far has been 100% however in various parts of Africa the survival rate ranges from 20% to 90%. While the USA has had a 100% survival rate so far with 4 cases, if this were to turn into a pandemic where the medical system is flooded with victims that rate would most assuredly drop. a massive influx of patients would restrict proper care and reduce sanitary conditions increasing the number of cases.
Why Ebola has been such a problem in Africa
- Access to medicine: Unfortunately Africa does not have the same access and quality of medicine as you would find in countries like the United States, Russia, England, France, and other big nations. As a result the ability to treat these patients are limited. This is why when two American missionary doctors got sick they were flown back to Atlanta for treatment. They then made a full recovery. As well two other individuals have been successfully treated in the USA.
- Sanitation issues: Since body fluids are the means by which Ebola spreads. It’s important to wash frequently and keep clean. However when clean water is hard to come by you may not have that luxury.
- Burial Customs: In Africa the burial custom is to kiss the corpse before burying. As a result the fluid transfers that are involved can get more people sick. Even after the body is dead, Ebola is still alive.
How to Protect yourself
- Wash your hands frequently: after touching anything of public usage. Keep Purell Hand sanitizing wipes or other hand sanitizes close by throughout the day.
- Sanitize items that may come in contact with any sick persons: Ebola is a strong virus and it can survive without a host from 2 to 10 days. They don’t starve however sunlight can kill it.
- Avoid public transportation and gatherings: being around a lot of people greatly increases your odds of catching something.
- Wear gloves: While this won’t be socially acceptable especially if Ebola is no where near you it can be a great way to prevent interacting with body fluids. Nitrile Gloves are one of the best options.
- Wear Respirator: This may currently be overkill for Ebola since it isn’t airborne yet. There is fear out of the UN that the Ebola virus could mutate over time and become airborne. N95 or N100 Masks are a good option as well you can get a reusable respirator mask that has a better seal.
Ebola seems scary when you look at the news outlets. It is certainly a more deadly disease then the common flu however it is managable to avoid. If you do contract it your survival rate in a developed country is high so long as it doesn’t become a pandemic. Practice good sanitary habits, and avoid public places and you should be just fine. If you get sick get checked out and dealt with quickly. If a pandemic where to happen try to stay home until it dies down, purchase a hazmat suit like those in the LMP store in case it gets really bad. Stay calm and carry on.