This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
We’ve been observing the news about the new spread of the Ebola virus in Africa for months now. Back in 2014, the outbreak occurred in west Africa. During that outbreak, of the 28,000 people infected in west Africa, 11,000 died. Fortunately, it was contained for a few years. A lot of people were concerned when the virus made it’s way to the U.S. At the time, a patient with ebola symptoms showed up in a Dallas hospital, which was unprepared to handle such a case. A nurse who was caring for him contracted the disease fortunately recovered after many months of sickness. Several more people had gotten exposed and it was only through sheer luck that the disease did not spread further.
Now ebola has re-emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The outbreak is said to be the second worst in history, after the 2014 epidemic in West Africa. The World Health Organization is concerned the disease could spread to nearby border areas such as Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. The situation is further worsened as the stricken area in the DRC has many violent conflicts. A hospital treating the patients recently got attacked and 24 patients fled before getting treatment.
It was thought that a patient in Sweden who showed up vomiting blood had the virus but the tests came out negative.
Recently, an American physician who may have been exposed to the virus has been transported to Nebraska Medical Center for observation. According to USA Today, “Monitoring could last up to 14 days.”
I am not a doctor or scientist, just a regular person who is wondering “what if?” A lot of sites have weighed in on this subject, and the news reports all assure the public that the virus will not spread here. But there are never any guarantees. All you can do is be aware of what’s going on, hope and pray that the virus is contained.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that causes a horrific hemorrhagic fever with up to a 90% death rate. The incubation period, or the time between a person is infected until they show symptoms is between 2-21 days.
The virus spreads by exposure to infected bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, vomit, perspiration or stools. It is not spread via airborne means. In many African countries, people prepare their loved ones for burial and that is often the cause of exposure. It can also spread via sexual contact, as the virus can stay in sperm for months, even as the victim recovers.
Symptoms start out like the flu, with cough, sore throat, malaise, fever, aches and pains, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. At advanced stages, victims get severe bruising and rashes, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, bleeding from eyes, nose, mouth, multiple organ failure leading to death. No doubt, it’s a nasty, terrible disease.
How do you prevent it?
From what I have read, preventing it means staying away from blood, secretions and other bodily fluids from infected persons who are symptomatic. Caregivers must be covered from head to toe, with impenetrable materials to avoid accidentally coming into contact with bodily fluids. According to Doom and Bloom Ebola update,
“It’s thought that Ebola doesn’t spread until a victim develops symptoms. As the illness progresses, however, bodily fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding become very contagious. Poor hygiene and lack of proper medical supplies in underdeveloped countries, such as in West Africa impede the progress of medical authorities to tame the outbreak. The best they can do is isolate sick individuals as best they can and follow infectious disease precautions. This is something they are, apparently, not doing so well, because so many medical personnel are getting sick. When the doctors and nurses are dying, you know you have an illness about which to be truly concerned. Imagine if the disease becomes worldwide.”
Is there a cure?
There is no known cure for Ebola. The only thing that can be done for patients is to keep them comfortable and hydrated, while the patient fights the virus and hopefully gets better on their own. There is a vaccine being administered to high risk populations according to the WHO.
What can you do to prepare?
We don’t have any control over much of what happens in these developments, all we can do is be aware of what’s happening so we can decide what to do if anything happens. Just the fact that you’re reading this means you are concerned enough to prepare. Here are some tips to cope:
- Don’t panic – This is the last thing you need. If you are full of fear you will be incapacitated and unable to make proper decisions
- Have a discussion with your close family members about the situation. Talk about how you feel and what you would do “just in case” Things to consider are: At what point would you miss work or keep kids home from school if there is an outbreak of some kind? Would you hunker in your home or stay someplace else?
- Keep close tabs on the news – be aware of what’s going on. Learn the facts and stay away from sensationalist or fear mongering stories.
- Know the laws about quarantine and isolation: legal authorities will do what is necessary to stop the spread of disease, including quarantining and isolating possibly infected people if warranted..
- Learn how to sanitize your home with bleach. See Information on Cleaning and Decontamination
- Stock up on N-95 masks, bleach, disposable gloves, masks, toilet paper, trash bags, water, food, first aid supplies, to last for a month just in case.
- Read The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story I was terrified to read about the first time the Ebola virus reached the U.S. (suburb of Washington, D.C.) back in the 80s. Though the story was downplayed at the time, it really happened and now it’s about to arrive again.
- See my recent article, How an Average Person can Prepare for a Pandemic for more tips on how to prepare. See also Daisy Luther’s recent article.
From news reports, the treatment facility that is currently monitoring the physician who was exposed is well-equipped with isolation environments, protective equipment and everything needed to keep the patients stable. The area is off-limits to anyone except hospital personnel. We’re assured that the personnel are experienced in handling infectious diseases and well-trained in all protocols to protect themselves and everyone else. I pray there are no mishaps.
I hope these tips are helpful. By being aware of what’s going on, and taking a few sensible steps, you will sleep a lot better at night.
© Apartment Prepper 2019