We hear the word daily on the news and on everyone’s mouth. It causes panic and mayhem where ever it’s heard. People die from it, but do we really know what it is? What actually happens to cause such commotion?
In the process of understanding any virus, and how protect ourselves, we need to start from the beginning. Let’s break it down.
WHAT IS EBOLA?
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by an infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus.
Filoviruses belong to a virus family called Filoviridae and can cause severe hemorrhagic fever.
WHERE DID IT ORIGINATED?
Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. It was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS?
Once infected, the symptoms usually appear between a few days to up to three weeks. Those symptoms are fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. Followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and the decrease function of the liver and kidneys. The worst is when the infected starts bleeding internally and externally. Depending on the case, death can occur between six to sixteen days after symptoms commence and is usually due to low blood pressure and loss of fluids.
HOW DO YOU BECOME INFECTED?
It sounds like a nasty and painful virus. But let’s not panic and let me point out that the cases we are seeing in the United States, are of those with personal contact with the disease; doctors and nurses.
An infected person becomes contageous once they start showing signs of having the virus; once the fever starts.
I couldn’t stress this more, this is not like the flu or a cold. Its not, I repeat, is NOT airborn. The only way to catch it is by being in contact with infected blood and/or body fluids; saliva, human waste, etc…
So what have we learned today? Yes its a nasty disease but sharing a subway car with an Ebola infected person does not put you at risk. Don’t panic and follow all recommendations from the CDC.
As I was finishing this feature the news broke the news that nurse Nina Pham from a Dallas, is now Ebola free!