We read novels about the disease. We watch movies about global outbreaks. There have been outbreaks before in Africa but they stayed in Africa. Are we safe here on other continents? Or should we be worried? How easy is it now for someone to just hop on a plane who has been infected and voila…. it is now spread to where ever in the world?
Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever:
Fortunately it seems Ebola does not spread through air (through breathing); it spreads through contact. When you contact each other physically then Ebola spreads through sweat, through saliva in case you kiss, blood (exchange of blood), vomiting in case you touch the vomit of somebody who is sick or diarrhea, urine, sexual fluids, etc., all those transmit Ebola.
Ebola can cause severe fever, muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea and unstoppable bleeding. There is no treatment and no vaccine. The incubation period is from 2 to 21 days.
An excerpt from: Time Healthland: Infectious Disease: Urban Ebola? Why the Latest Outbreak in Uganda Raises Worries
by Bryan Walsh, August 1, 2012
Perhaps 1,850 people have been diagnosed with Ebola hemorrhagic fever since the virus was first identified 36 years ago in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (To put that number in perspective, more than 24,000 people fall ill from tuberculosis each day.) Still, Ebola has a grip on the public imagination that far exceeds the danger it actually poses — in part because of those 1,850 sick people, some 1,200 went on to die. And the deaths are rarely easy —
That’s why the latest Ebola outbreak in western Uganda, which has involved at least 20 cases and 14 deaths so far, has received so much attention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak originated in a family in Nyanswiga village in Uganda’s Kibaale district, 140 miles (225 km) west of Kampala, the capital. Such rural outbreaks are not unusual for Ebola — like many emerging infectious diseases, including HIV, it first jumped from primates like gorillas and chimpanzees to human beings, and outbreaks often begin with sick animals. It’s not surprising then that the first infections would often take place in the African countryside, where the hunting and consumption of wild animals is not uncommon…
What’s got people worried in this case is that one infected patient managed to travel to a hospital in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, a city of 1.5 million people with air connections to the rest of Africa and the world. Although there has been no evidence yet that Ebola is actively spreading in the city, Kampala residents are, to put it simply, freaked out — so much so that people immediately fled the hospital once word spread that an Ebola patient was being treated there….
But unless the virus somehow spreads from the Kampala hospital into the general population, the virus likely poses little threat to urban Ugandans — and even less to the rest of the world. That’s because as frightening as Ebola is, transmission requires direct contact with infected bodily fluids, including blood or saliva. It can’t be transmitted through the air like the flu or SARS. Unlike HIV, which is also passed through bodily fluids, Ebola makes the infected so obviously sick so soon that there’s little chance transmission could happen in secret. The most at-risk group for secondary Ebola infections is actually health care workers, which is why the 20 doctors and nurses who made the journey with the infected patient from Kibaale are in quarantine, just in case they too contracted the disease.
To know more about this terrible deadly disease:
Ebola: profile a prolific killer:
Have a Great Day!
- Ebola in Uganda (appablog.wordpress.com)
- Ebola outbreak suspected among Uganda prisoners (crofsblogs.typepad.com)