Ebola: What is it, How is it Transmitted, and Should I Worry?

In recent news, the Ebola breakout in the U.S. has put everyone on heightened alert; which is good, it’s great to be vigilant and aware, but we want to make certain that people are educating themselves with correct information, as not to cause pandemonium within our communities!

Here is the breakdown of what you need to know!

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Ebola – Nothing to be Taken Lightly

  • What is Ebola?  “Ebola is a virus that once contracted leads to viral hemorrhagic fever disease. Symptoms appear anywhere from two to 21 days after contracting the virus. Commonly the symptoms appear in eight to 10 days from exposure. The CDC lists symptoms as fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding. Patients have also experienced rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, and bleeding inside and outside of the body. Patients that are asymptomatic are not contagious.”
  • How is it transmitted? “The transmission of Ebola is very specific, including direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected symptomatic person, or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions. It is not a respiratory nor foodborne disease.Outbreaks are occurring primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals (with fruit bats being considered a natural host), or through direct contact with someone who has the disease.”

It’s always good practice to wash your hands often, with hot soapy water, and use an alcohol based hand sanitizer whenever water is not available.

Disinfecting all touchable surfaces will also insure that any viruses left behind are killed and not transmittable.

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Education is Key!

Keeping yourself informed of areas that have come in contact with those individuals that are infected with Ebola is encouraged.

It’s easier to know exactly what you’re up against if you have all the information!

For more information on Ebola, you can go here for everything you’ll need to know!

~Dr. Wagner