Unless you’ve been living on Neptune for the past three months, then you know that Ebola is all everyone is talking about. One things for certain, there is a ton of misinformation going out to the general public. We want to set the record straight on what exactly the disease is.
First things first, how is the disease transmitted? According to the World Health Organization “Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.” Once it makes its way to a human being from one of the above animals, “Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.” To sum it up, you can get it through bodily fluids.
How to know if you might have it:
According to the W.H.O “The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.”
How to make sure you don’t get it:
- Reduce the chance of animal-to-human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys. This includes the consumption of their raw meat. Handle animals with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Should you deal with animal blood or meat, make sure to thoroughly cook it before eating.
- Reducing the chance of person to person transmission from direct or close proximity contact with people that display symptoms of Ebola. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn if you are taking care of sick or ill patients at home. Regularly wash hands after coming in contact with people during your normal day to day activities.