3 Things We Need to Know About The Ebola Virus & How to Protect Ourselves

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Many of us have been exposed to viruses and fever throughout our lives and experience unrelenting symptoms such as achy muscles, vomiting, fatigue, and even night sweats only to feel like ourselves again withn a week or two. The horrible symptoms are all part of our body fighting off infections and pathogens that shouldn’t be inside us.

Unlike the symptoms that usually wane after a bad case of the stomach flu. The Ebola virus lives and thrives in warm, moist, environments, like in vomit, diarrhea, and other liquids from the body.

The Ebola virus, with symptoms such as internal bleeding and fever like chills is a deadly combination that has been in the headlines for months now. Ebola is not airborne nor can it travel through the skin. Unless, there is an open wound or cut, the Ebola virus cannot penetrate the body. The only ways that people can catch the disease is through the exchange of infected bodily fluids, and through entering the body through the eyes, mouth, nose, or ears.

The virus, that is on the rise is said to come from parts of Africa, such as Gabon, Sudan and parts of Central Africa. The origins are believed to come from health care workers who came to the country a long time ago, which has proven to be a myth. Since then, this has hurt the continent’s reputation and ability to get aid from current workers to help out.

A strange attribute of the Ebola virus is that when it is dormant, no one knows for sure, where it hides out. A common belief is that Ebola actually hides out in infected bats.

Since the outbreak in Africa, there has been a controversy of evidence that Thomas Eric Duncan, a doctor helping out in Sierra Leone, was the first person documented with the disease in the United States and went into isolation September 28. One healer who has already died from the virus is said to have infected 14 other people who prepared her body for burial.

In collecting data on what we already know, there are precautions that we can take to arm ourselves against this deadly disease.

#1)  What We Know

We already know that the Ebola virus is not airborne, but penetrates through bodily fluids. You should also know that the disease has the potential to splash in the air, during clean up. There is a difference.

Airborne essentially means that the viruses drifts into the air and can be acquired by breathing it in. On the other hand, during clean up, the virus has the potential to get splashed in the air through cleaning liquids, like water. If the virus is still moist and splashes into you, only then will you catch it.

Health care workers and people who prepare bodies that contain infected fluids are more likely to become infected than someone who is generally in the vicinity of a sick person.

#2)  Casual Contact will not Infect You

As many as 11% of the American population is worried about becoming infected, while only 21% is somewhat worried. The good thing is that you cannot get sick by simply touching someone who is infected, this means shaking hands, hugging, or bumping into an ill person should cause no need for alarm.

The defining moment of people who are already infected has been sometime when a close contact with bodily fluids has been made. Health care workers are the most likely to get sick being that they work in such close proximity to ill people.

#3)  There is an Experimental Vaccination

Brincidofovir is an anti-viral drug that is being used on Eric Thomas Dunan, the first patient to be infected in the United States, just as his conditioning was worsening. Using the drug in the late stages will determine whether or not the virus will work during the onset of infection.

What we have learned about Ebola is that it is a deadly disease, however, there are ways to fight against becoming infected. Simple routines such as washing your hands, not touching the inside of your mouth, nose or eyes without your hands being cleaned is one step to fight against germs, deadly or not. Although there isn’t a global outbreak, what you know, may save your life.

Tell us what you think! What have you heard about the Ebola virus that hasn’t been mentioned in this article. What steps do you plan to take to protect yourself against the disease? Please let us know!

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