We don’t want to be alarmists but we seen the movie Contagion and Braintree is a little too close to home when it comes to this deadly virus. With that in mind, we thought we’d offer you some general information and facts about Ebola. Be healthy, Southie!
What is Ebola?
Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90%. The illness affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two outbreaks, one in a village near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the other in a remote area of Sudan.
Routes of Transmission of Ebola
When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in many ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact – through skin or mucous membranes – with:
- blood or body fluids (saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
- objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
- infected animals (for example, bats and nonhuman primates)
- there is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus
- Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general food.
Who’s at risk?
Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick.
Symptoms of Ebola:
– Fever (greater than 101.5°F)
– Severe headache
– Muscle pain
– Abdominal (stomach) pain
– Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days. Ebola only spreads when people are sick. A patient must have symptoms to spread the disease to others.
Statement for Mayor Marty Walsh re: Ebola:
“The City and our partners at Beth Israel and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health were in constant contact today as news of an Ebola scare began to break. Today’s efforts reinforced my belief that the City is more than prepared to deal with any scenario like this. We take any threat to public health very seriously, but we must educate ourselves about Ebola precautions and do what we can to quell unnecessary public panic. Our emergency preparedness plans are recognized as national models, and I have full confidence in our departments and healthcare organizations that we can keep Bostonians safe and healthy.”
Insider’s Tip: If you are thinking about traveling to West Africa, dont.