As of October 31, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported 13, 567 suspected cases of Ebola and 4,951 deaths; the United States has had four reported cases and one death. Both the WHO and Centers of Disease Control (CDC) believe that the figures are two to three times higher than the reported numbers.
So, who is at risk? Individuals that have been exposed to Ebola infected patients. The virus spreads by direct contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected human or other animal. Body fluids include: saliva, blood, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, semen and urine. Most common transmission of the virus is through blood, feces and vomit. Infection with the virus may also occur by direct contact with a recently contaminated item or surface.
Symptoms usually begin with flu like stage; fatigue, muscle and joint aches, headache, sore throat and a fever of 101⁰F. If you have traveled outside of the United States especially to Africa and have these symptoms, then should seek medical attention.
So…. how do I protect myself?
Wash your hands! Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person… especially one that is sick or has a fever. Do not touch items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids such as door knobs, table tops, key board/mouse, channel changer, etc.