Facts about Ebola
According to the the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) South Africa has only has historically only had one case of the ebola virus reported in 1996. A medical professional had returned from Gabon where he had treated ebola patients and gotten sick. A nurse that treated him contracted the disease and died with him. Although there is no cure as of yet for the ebola virus, the CDC has the following advice on how to protect yourself from contracting ebola.
“There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola.
If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following:
- Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola virus infection.
- Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
- Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
- After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.”
The old adage, “prevention is better than cure,” comes to mind. The current outbreak of the ebola virus is the longest during of any such an event and the first to be ongoing in multiple countries, including the United States. The recent case of the patient that died in Texas U.S.A. has again alerted the world to the power of the disease. However, it is important to stay calm and observe the basic protective measures prescribed above. Ebola virus can only be transmitted through close human contact and bodily fluids, or contaminated meat that was infected by fruit bats. It is not an airborne disease. Basic hygiene, like washing your hands regularly, using your common sense, will go a long way to keeping you and your loved ones safe in this time.