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Ebola: What is it? & What Should I Do?





The tricky part about the Ebola virus is that the symptoms are similar to meningitis, cholera or other viral hemorrhagic fever. These symptoms may appear within 2-21 days after infection and some of these symptoms are very similar to normal flu.

The symptoms are:

  1.  High fever
  2. Headache
  3. Joint/muscle aches
  4. Sore throat
  5. Weakness
  6. Stomach pain
  7. Lack of appetite




When someone is sick with Ebola, the virus can be spread when in direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:

  • Blood
  • Other body fluids, such as urine, feces, saliva, sweat, vomit, breast milk and semen
  • Objects (such as needles and syringes) that are contaminated with the virus

It can also spread when handling unsterilized needles or medical equipment that were used by an infected person, having unprotected sex with an infected person, and touching blood or other body fluids and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes (ways in which a person can get Ebola)

Ebola is not transmitted through the air, food or water.

Infection Control

One of the main reasons for such massive spread of Ebola in the countries affected is due to lack of proper infection control during the early stages of infection. Additionally, recognizing the best practice for early recognition of this virus, proper isolation procedures are also pivotal to ensure it doesn’t spread. Infection can also occur during post-mortem, leaving family members and other medical personnel at even more risk, especially when post-mortem procedures don’t include infection control.

So what exactly is “infection control”?

In addition to the best practice to avoid any virus that is not airborne, it includes proper sanitary restroom cleaning, proper hand hygiene and avoiding direct contact with sick individuals.

The CDC recommends the following for hospitals that have a patient infected with the Ebola virus.

(Read the entire guidelines page here.)

  • Patient isolation
  • Use of gloves, gown, shoe covers, eye protection and eye mask
  • Aerosol-generating procedures
  • Environmental infection control (proper cleaning of surfaces that have been covered in body fluids or tissues). This cleaning should be done with correct bodily protection.

What to Remember:

  • You CANNOT get Ebola through the air, water or food. Click here for an infographic provided by the CDC.
  • Remember to practice correct hand hygiene and surface cleaning practices. Wash your hands regularly, pay attention to the surfaces you have touched and avoid direct contact with people who are sick.  Pay attention to how your body feels. Even if you just have the common cold, take your health (and others) seriously.
  • The Ebola virus is not airborne.
  • Do not panic. Stay informed.[fblike url=”” style=”standard” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”] [twitter style=”vertical” url=”” float=”left”]




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