An increasing number of cases of Ebola have so far proved inaccurate.
How does the virus spread?
Ebola is transmitted through the blood, bodily fluids and organs of infected persons. So far there have been no reported cases of Ebola transmission through casual contact with an infected person. Without direct contact with an infected person, visitors and members of the public can be at most risk if they come into contact with bodily fluids from an infected person or if they eat food or drink prepared by an infected person.
What can people do to avoid getting Ebola?
First, stay away from Ebola-positive areas in the affected countries.
Second, if a person develops Ebola symptoms, don’t go to places where Ebola is known to be present. Make sure to avoid contact with other people.
In the United States, a nurse who brought the virus to Dallas was isolated at a hospital before she could be transported to a Dallas clinic, allowing colleagues to wash their hands, disinfect their equipment and protect themselves. After being isolated, she was diagnosed and the other nurses avoided her.
How did the Dallas nurse’s story play out?
The first responders were stationed at every entrance to the apartment where the patient was taken, only allowing the door to be opened when entering the apartment. The nurses followed the same protocol. After the patient had tested positive for Ebola, no nurses or doctors were allowed inside the apartment where she had lived.
While Ebola can spread when a person comes into contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids through close contact, a quarantine and isolation room is often enough.
When the patients of hospitals are brought back to the hospital after they have been quarantined, it becomes a testing time. Does anyone have symptoms? How do the staff know to place them in quarantine?
While Ebola has only been imported into the United States with one case in the last 14 years, who can and can’t travel to West Africa and “have the potential to suffer from Ebola,” as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises? Who is at risk of infection for this “possible outbreak”?