It’s in the news and very scary, so you want to get yourself up to speed on the Ebola virus. This is a condition that was believed to be under control after its most severe outbreak in 1976. Though it has been contained since then, for the most part, it very recently has reached epidemic levels in Liberia, Nigeria, and Guinea since March. Since it is in the news and has started hitting closer to home through health care workers, people want to understand all that there is to know about this virus. Though it is not to be as feared as some other illnesses in certain ways, it is also deadly, and that makes it scary enough. Here’s what you really need to know:
The Ebola virus is different from other viruses of its kind in that it is not airborne. It is not transmitted through the air, and therefore you won’t get it just by being in close proximity to somebody who has it. The way that this virus is transmitted is through bodily fluids, so those who work as healthcare workers are at greater risk. It can survive on surfaces, too, so infected needles, common surfaces, or even latex gloves that have been affected by the bodily fluids can be a problem. You want to be sure that you are aware of this as blood and vomit that get into a person’s bloodstream are the most common paths of transmission.
The Unknown Is Often the Scariest Part
Another important thing to note about the Ebola virus is that it may not show up right away. This is a disease that has a given incubation period, so even if you are exposed, it may take up to 10 days to show up in your system. This is scary for healthcare workers and those that have been exposed since they may feel fine at first and then quickly deteriorate. The most common symptoms are flu-like, and it can rapidly escalate from there. At this time there is no known cure, and that may be one of the scariest aspects of the Ebola virus. If you are exposed, there is little in the way of cures or ways of helping victims, and that’s why so many people are dying.
Though the Ebola virus is most predominant in other parts of the world, it is getting closer to home through healthcare workers being exposed. It’s always best to try to protect your health, but in this case just be in the know. The hope is that this disease will somehow be contained or that a cure may be found. In the meantime, being an educated consumer is your best bet in staying healthy and strong. Though you may find that this virus scares you, and that’s a common reaction, you also want to try to stay calm and work toward being in the best possible health on a daily basis. That’s always a good way to protect yourself against disease!