How Do You Get Ebola?
An Ebola outbreak begins when the virus is transmitted from wild animals to humans. It is then spread throughout communities when one gets in direct contact with the bodily fluids, blood or a corpse of an infected person. Other means of contact for Ebola include through semen, saliva, feces or urine or through coming in contact with an infected animal or one who has died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization. (WHO, 2007)
An individual can become infected from coming into contact with the broken skin or mucus membranes of an infected person. If you use needles or any intra venous items that have come into contact with infected fluids from animals that are infected, you are at a great risk. Those persons at the highest risk of becoming infected are health workers such as doctors and nurses who have to deal with sick patients or close friends and family members of infected victims.
The first signs of the disease include a fever, aches and pains in muscles, weakness, a sore throat and headache. Eventually more symptoms will appear, such as nausea, liver failure, diarrhea, bleeding and rashes.
Ebola tends to spread quickly within the clinic or hospital or any quarantine area during an outbreak. This is especially the case when hospital staff does not wear appropriate protective gear all the time.
Note: Ebola Is Not Airborne
Can I Travel to Ebola Outbreak Places?
During an outbreak, is it safe to travel? What does WHO say about traveling during this time?
WHO reviews the situation of public health on a regular basic during an outbreak, and they recommend any trade or travel restrictions. If needed, they might also inform the national authorities to put it into place. WHO is now reviewing its recommendations for travel and plans on issuing advice in the near future.
Even though travelers should always be very aware of their health and those around them, for travelers the risk of infection is quite low since transmission by person to person happens from direct contact with the bodily fluids or secretions from an infected patient.
Basic Travel Advice from WHO
- All healthcare professionals who are traveling to areas that are affected need to follow the WHO-recommended infection control guidelines carefully.
- Travelers need to avoid any contact with an infected patient.
- Clinicians who care for travelers that are returning from areas affected with comparable symptoms are advised to think about the possibility of the Ebola virus.
- Anyone who has been staying in areas where the cases were reported recently needs to be aware of the symptoms of infection and seek attention from a medical center at the first sign of infection.
Video for more—how people get Ebola: