What Is Ebola?
Here’s Why America Is Safe From It.
[Updated February 2015]
Unless you’re been in a coma for 6 months – hopefully not – you’ve probably heard of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak.
Surprisingly we still answer a lot of Ebola questions and misconceptions about this deadly virus!
As medical waste disposal experts we handle biohazardous boxes that can kill us everyday. Today we’re here to help you survive Ebola by arming you with the facts in the “Ebola Virous. What is it? Essential Facts.” Infographic.
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Ebola was most likely transmitted and spread into the human population through close contact with the bodily fluids (blood, secretions) and organs of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys found in the rainforest.
The moment a human is infected and symptomatic, Ebola can then be transmitted through direct contact human-to-human (broken skin or mucous membranes) of an infected person’s bodily fluids</strong (blood, secretions) or organs, and fluid contaminated surfaces and materials (bedding, clothing).
Ebola is not spread through the air, by water, or by food – exception being African bush meat.
Ebola may only be spread to another human if the animal or human is showing symptoms of EVD or has died of EVD.
Important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) “Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick.”
Thus, if you’re a non-healthcare provider your risk of being infected by EVD is minimal.
Ebola signs and symptoms usually begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection. These early signs and symptoms include: Fever, severe headache, joint and muscle aches, chills, and weakness.
Over time, symptoms become progressively more sever and may include: Nausea and vomiting, diarrhea (may even be bloody), red eyes, raised rash, chest pain and cough, stomach pain, severe weight loss, internal bleeding, and bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose and rectum.
The 2014 outbreak of Ebola is primarily in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). This is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976.
As of Oct. 27th, 2014 there are over 4,912 deaths from Ebola Virous out of 10,114 cases. This is roughly 50% fatality rate. Althoughpast Ebola fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
The overall figures include outbreaks in Nigeria and Senegal, which have been deemed by the WHO to be now over. As well as isolated cases in Spain, the United States and a single case in Mali.
What you ought to take away from this is CDC has stated “Ebola poses no significant risk in the United States.”
Unfortunately there are no FDA-approved Ebola vaccines or antiviral drugs available. However there are two potential Ebola vaccine candidates undergoing evaluation.
They have found Ebola blood transfusion from Ebola survivors to infected people has been effective.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a developed country such as the United States, supportive care to help the immune system fight off the virus include:
- Fluids for dehydration
- Medicine for fever
- Antibiotics for infections
- Maintaining blood pressure
- Oxygen as needed
- Replacement of lost blood
This Ebola outbreak has been an outcry from anti-poverty organizations such as ONE.org which are “alarmed at the insufficient global response to the rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa.”
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.