Thursday, November 13, 2014

Important Information Regarding Ebola Protection

By Christa Jarvis

Ebola is spread through contact with body fluids of persons that have been infected. These include blood, vomit, saliva and even sweat. So far, no vaccine is available to confer Ebola protection in humans. To protect yourself from being infected, you need to avoid coming into contact with these fluids. This means that you keep away from persons that have been infected unless you have personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment is effective in keeping out the virus. It is important to mention that this can only be achieved with the correct use of the equipment. Ensure that you cover your entire body using a gown, medical gloves, a face mask, a shield and protective eye wear. Two pairs of gloves should be worn when handling needles.

Washing hands regularly helps to reduce the risk of transmission. Soap and water are often sufficient. If you have trouble getting water, you may use an alcohol based hand sanitizer as an alternative. Items that have been used by an infected person are likely to be contaminated and should not be reused, any rooms that have been used by infected persons should be hosed down before reuse.

Disinfection and sterilization are procedures that can be instituted whenever there is a need to reuse equipment that has been contaminated. Chlorine bleach is particularly effective for needles and other sharps. The sharps are typically soaked in the bleach for about thirty minutes to kill the virus. This process has to be repeated at least twice. The bleach may also be used on large equipment and surfaces.

People who die from Ebola remain infectious for a long period of time. The virus feeds on the tissues until the whole body has decomposed. This means that careful disposal of corpses is required. Any death that is suspected to be a result of Ebola should be reported to the local department of public health. There should be no direct contact whatsoever.

The virus has been shown to affect other animals other than human beings. Non-human primates and bats are some of the well known hosts of this virus. In fact, it is thought that the first infection in humans resulted from one of these animals. The body fluids and tissues of these animals should be avoided just as those from human beings.

If you have a history of recent travel to a place with confirmed cases of the virus, you need to monitor yourself. Look out for an increase in your body temperature that may suggest a fever. The virus usually takes a couple of days to incubate. If you experience such a fever with or without any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle pains, headache or unexplained bleeding, go the hospital immediately.

The control of the Ebola outbreak can only be achieved by interrupting the chain of transmission. Any person that is suspected to have contracted Ebola or has been confirmed to have the same should be kept in isolation. They should only be handled by properly trained personnel who have the required equipment for the task.

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