WHAT IS EBOLA?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains.
SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA
As mentioned on the CDC webpage, early symptoms of Ebola, can only be spread to others after symptoms begin. Symptoms of Ebola include:
- Fever (greater than 38.6?C or 101.5?F)
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
After exposure, symptoms can appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days, but the average is stated to be 8 to 10 days.
HOW IS EBOLA SPREAD?
Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with:
- Blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
- Objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
- Infected animals
- Handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer
- Avoid contact with blood and body fluids
- 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
- Intake Vitamin C to boost immune system
- Stay educated on the topic
**You should seek medical help at a local hospital if they exhibit the listed symptoms and having been to an Ebola-affected area in the past 21 days.
AFC Natick is being proactive about the Ebola virus, which is why we ask the following questions to our patients when they come in:
1. ARE YOU ILL with ANY of the following?
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
2. Have YOU/FAMILY MEMBER/CLOSE FRIEND traveled to an Ebola-affected area (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea) in the 21 days before the onset of the illness?