What is Ebola and how does it spread?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC )the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting in West Africa. One imported case from Liberia and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been documented. CDC and partners are taking precautions to prevent the further spread of Ebola within the United States. We should have taken action with making limitations a long time ago but again our government seems to worry about other countries more than our own or else we would not have this potential epidemic. Look at what is finally being doing in airports at least in New York regarding visitors coming from Africa, they are being checked for disease in someway, that should have started years ago with the increase or population into our country from people unfortunately in other countries with more disease due to less protection or action due to their economy and what they can afford. Yet, in the end our government needs to protect us the US citizens and have a regulation much more tighter than it was if US citizens for whatever the reason is leaving this country to other countries for business (EX. News Report Employees.) or vacation is allowed; which it has been going on for ages. The key factor like to almost any disease or infection in or out of hospitals is: Prevention!
MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) health staff in protective clothing constructing perimeter for isolation ward.
***Background of the disease Ebola
***The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. Ebola virus disease (EVD) first appeared in 1976 in 2 simultaneous outbreaks, one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
The outbreak in West Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. Well its back again There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal. God willing we do something fast enough with all the medical technology we have in America and fine a way to control it in our own country; we came through in controlling the flu and so many other epidemics.
The most severely affected countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have very weak health systems, lacking human and infrastructural resources, having only recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability. On August 8, the WHO Director-General declared this outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Well the US better do something fast to prevent both me and many others in this home land to keep us safe. By the way I am RN 26 years and this topic Ebola concerns me terribly.
A few years back when Ebola hit America according to the CDC this is this episode, “there were about 8,900 cases of Ebola infection worldwide with almost 4,500 deaths as of this week. And, the World Health Organization that we may see 10,000 new cases per week by the end of that year.
Transmissiono of Ebola
It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest that picked up this virus.
Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This has occurred through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced or taught to the medical workers through detailed and concise information with written instructions, proper demonstration, with most important follow up by health care worker superiors like managers to nursing education depts.
For further information on this go to my reference http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/The World Health Organization. ***
There is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola, unfortunately but like most after damage occurs in enough quantities (which is the case) in time most diseases come up with one regarding the many over the few diseases we haven’t seem to have invented yet. So the key for this disease right now is PREVENTION of it.
Keep in mind through the CDC we are in the U.S. working on a treatment. Let us take a look.
“Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness.
Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive care and the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years, possibly longer. It isn’t known if people who recover are immune for life or if they can become infected with a different species of Ebola. Some people who have recovered from Ebola have developed long-term complications, such as joint and vision problems.”
Here are some tips given by the CDC (Center for Disease Control):
If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following:
- Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment). In a hospital patients with contaminating diseases through blood, secretions or fluids of the body is when contact isolation is used to prevent the spread of diseases (EX. MRSA, VRE)that can be spread through contact with open wounds, urine, blood, simple secretions of the body (even tears or fluids coming from the eye). Health care workers making contact with a patient on contact isolation are required to wear gloves, a gown, even a mask if one wants (which I without question do for any contact isolation a pt is on for their contaminating disease to prevent spread on me or others). With Ebola it may even go into further restrictions with disease to PREVENT further contamination which is only watching the safety of all citizens and visitors in this country or hopefully this will be carried out in Africa and anywhere else at this point.
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
- 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, if .not needed. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
How bad is it elsewhere? In West Africa, pretty bad. Lack of resources and a slow global response has let the virus run wild. Over at Nature, they used WHO data to illustrate just how terrifying it’s getting. For an on-the-ground perspective, see what Karin Huster, a healthcare worker who just got back from treating Ebola in Liberia’s clinics, told R29. We’re also beginning to feel the first economic effects of the crisis.
What is the CDC doing to stop the spread of Ebola? Well, the first thing to remember is that the U.S. is not in the middle of the same kind of outbreak those in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia have been dealing with for months now. Ebola has not spread to the general American population, and those who have contracted the virus here have been in close contact with someone who was already severely infected. Complicating matters, the nurses who cared for Duncan report that they were forced to do so without proper training or equipment. And, Vinson says that she called the CDC before getting on her flight with a low-grade fever, but was told her temperature did not surpass the dangerous threshold (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit). However, the CDC has learned from its slow response to Dallas and has vowed to dispatch an Ebola response team to any hospital in the country with a confirmed case of the
How contagious is Ebola? Compared to other diseases you are more likely to get (such as enterovirus D68, the measles, and the flu), Ebola is not very contagious. It has a long incubation period (21 days) during which an infected person may begin to show symptoms. But, as far as we know, that person is not contagious until he or she is symptomatic. Ebola can only be spread by: direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is contagious (e.g., blood, urine, vomit); objects that have been contaminated with those fluids; or infected mammals, such as bats.
What are the symptoms of Ebola? Fever, headache, muscle pain, severe vomiting, and bloody diarrhea, among other unpleasant things. These symptoms hit hard and and they hit fast. They also get worse the longer you’re infected. So, if you feel kind of icky but are still dragging yourself to work, you’re probably Ebola-free.
Can we treat it? Not in every case. We have several experimental options, such as ZMapp, that have worked for some human cases or in animals. But, American scientists are still working on a cure that can save as many people as possible — and get approved by the FDA, too. Chinese and Russian scientists are on the case too, reportedly working on a cure and vaccine, respectively. But, Ebola is not necessarily a death sentence. About half of the people who have contracted it worldwide have lived to tell the tale. The CDC says whether or not you survive depends on your immune system and the quality of care you’re getting. And, when a person recovers from the virus, he or she will have antibodies that will protect against Ebola infection for at least 10 years.
Can we protect against it? Yes — with proper hand hygiene, basic public health tactics, a vaccine on the way, and a ramped-up CDC response.
Finally, I reinforce that unless you have had direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone with Ebola when that person was contagious (or if you’ve eaten some bushmeat recently), then your risk for Ebola are low and you don’t need to worry about getting it. Really, even Fox News says so. Instead, you should probably just get yourself a flu shot with how much higher you are at risk of getting the flu as opposed to the disease Ebola but our country should take strict action in preventing a disease epidemic in travelers coming back or from Africa to the US or any other country that has this disease in their country, safety for the people in America.