Seven Facts You Should Know About Ebola

If you have been following recent headlines, you know that it has been asserted that the first case of the Ebola virus travelling aboard a commercial passenger airline has been confirmed.

According to the article, “Nigerian health authorities raced to stop the spread of Ebola on Saturday after a man sick with one of the world’s deadliest diseases brought it by plane to Lagos, Africa’s largest city with 21 million people.”

Since I am neither a health care professional nor a scientist, I cannot confirm one way or another whether the Ebola virus can be [amazon asin=B00H2WIKCE&template=*lrc ad (left)]spread in this manner.  What I can do, and encourage you to do, is to read up on the topic and come to your own conclusions.  Furthermore, rather than go into “pandemic panic mode”, be prepared to hunker down if Ebola lands close to your homeland, wherever that may be.

Be Prepared for a Pandemic!

How to prepare for a pandemic?  The usual: plenty of food, water, first aid supplies, face masks, and something to keep your mind occupied in the event you are confined to close quarters.  Examples include books, playing cards, and board games.  I also recommend essential oils but more about that in a moment.

You should also be prepared to physically isolate yourself.  If a pandemic is even rumored, isolate yourself from large crowds, avoid commercial travel, and head out to your bug-out-location if you have one.  If you work outside the home, plan to telecommute if you [amazon asin=B001DJDP7C&template=*lrc ad (right)]can and if not, take some vacation time.  Above all, use common sense and keep a level head about you.

A Medical Doctor Weighs In On Ebola

You might remember Dr. James Hubbard from a recent Backdoor Survival Book Festival.  He is the author of Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival and DuctTape 911: The Many Amazing Medical Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together.  He had this to say:

Ebola is a horrible disease but, from what I understand, it is passed only by direct contact through bodily fluids. You don’t get it by breathing the air or casual contact with someone. There have been instances in the past of air travelers [amazon asin=1440333548&template=*lrc ad (left)]having it, and no one else traveling got it. If someone with it comes to the U.S. and gets sick, chances are very good they’re going to be sick enough to go to the hospital and become isolated.

The only ones with big-risk would be the ones who had been living with, or caring for, her/him. Since it’s not airborne, it’s very unlikely a widespread epidemic would break out here in the U.S.

Or is it?  Airborne, that is.

When I asked him about this, he pointed to some information posted on his website and gave me permission to share it here on Backdoor Survival.  Here are his thoughts including seven facts you should know about Ebola.

Unprecedented Ebola Outbreak. Could It Spread Here?[amazon asin=0991511905&template=*lrc ad (right)]

A new outbreak of Ebola is going on in Africa, and Doctors Without Borders is calling it “an epidemic of a magnitude never seen before”—not because of the number of cases or deaths. There have been more in previous outbreaks. It’s because of how the disease is spreading.

In the past, Ebola has always stayed confined to a small region. This time the same strain of the virus has been found infecting people several hundred miles from the original area.

The questions on the minds of many people who don’t live in Africa are, could it come here? If so, how do I prevent it?

[amazon asin=B00GLO7M00&template=*lrc ad (left)]What is Ebola?

Ebola is that horrendous viral disease in Africa (so far). It’s the disease with a death rate of up to 90 percent of those infected. The one where the victims sometimes bleed out of every orifice before they die.

But other than for humanitarian reasons or if we’re going to Africa, should we be concerned?

Well, for one thing, Ebola is on the U.S. list for potential bioterror agents. That’s because it’s highly contagious and there’s no vaccine or effective treatment. Also, though this is rare, people have traveled internationally with it before their symptoms started—including to the United States.

Stopping the Spread of Ebola: 7 Facts to Know[amazon asin=B002QEBYOE&template=*lrc ad (right)]

If Ebola becomes a problem, here are some key facts you’ll need to know to reduce your chance of getting it.

1. It seems to start in animals and meat.  No one’s for sure, but it’s thought the disease starts in bats. They can have the virus without getting sick. Then they infect other animals, who do usually get sick.

People kill the other animals and contract the virus while either preparing the meat or eating it poorly cooked. Then the virus starts spreading from person to person.

2. After exposure, Ebola can kick in early or late.  After someone is infected, the symptoms start anywhere from [amazon asin=B0069SQVK0&template=*lrc ad (left)]two to 21 days later.

3. Ebola doesn’t spread like the flu.  This is the only good thing I know about this awful disease.

Flu: You can be contagious before you get sick.Ebola: You’re not contagious until you have symptoms.

Flu: The virus can spread through fluid droplets in the air (like from a sneeze).Ebola: Although it’s theoretically possible for Ebola to spread this way, it doesn’t seem to.

4. Ebola is highly contagious.  You can catch it by coming in direct contact with any bodily fluids, including blood, semen, urine, saliva, vomit, or feces.

5. The symptoms make prevention more difficult.  Symptoms make it hard for caregivers not to come into contact with those bodily fluids.

There’s profuse vomiting and diarrhea. And the victim’s blood can’t clot. So you can’t stop bleeding from the smallest scrape, prick, or bruise. Sometimes people spontaneously bleed out the nose, mouth, rectum, or urethra.

6. Ebola is still contagious after symptoms stop or the victim dies.  Ebola doesn’t stop being contagious with death or recovery. Victims’ dead bodies still carry the disease, and people who recover may continue to be contagious for up to two months or more.

7. There are ways to protect yourself.  It’s essential to protect yourself at all times if you’re caring for someone who may have the disease so you don’t come into contact with the bodily fluids.

Basically, cover yourself in impermeable products from head to toe. Think goggles, mask, disposable gown, gloves, and shoe covers. If you’re using needles, use them once only and dispose of them immediately.

Also disinfect your environment. Clean any exposed furniture, walls, or floors with a disinfectant, like a chlorine bleach solution, before future use.  This may not all be possible during a long-term disaster, but do the best you can.

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