In the summer, following the conclusion of the World Cup, the buzz started to center around a five letter word which could take your life in just 21 painful days. That five letter word is none other than Ebola.
So what is Ebola? Ebola is a deadly hemorrhagic fever. A hemorrhagic fever is one that causes severe internal and external bleeding. As the virus spreads through the body, levels of blood-clotting cells drop severely. This means that eventually, a victim of Ebola will bleed to death. To this day in 2014, medical discoveries and statistics are not in the favor of the victim, as 90% of the infected die.
On September 20th, 2014, a man flying overseas from Liberia returned home to Dallas, Texas. It was not until four days later that this ordinary man’s life took a spin for the worse: he started to develop symptoms of Ebola. Immediately, the man was contained at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. This is the first ever reported case of Ebola in the U.S., though it isn’t the first time someone has been treated for Ebola in the U.S. Currently, all of the people that the man came in contact with following his arrival, are under watch.
How do you contract Ebola? Fictitious myths and stories attribute the spread of Ebola to be much like any other virus, through contagious means in the air. Though this is not the case with Ebola. Ebola is unlike any other common virus: it spreads only by direct contact with the skin or bodily fluids of an infected person. But that’s not always evident, as Ebola is not contagious until a person starts to develop symptoms.
OK, but what are some symptoms of Ebola? Symptoms include:
- Fever of greater than 101.5ºF
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained hemmorrhage
The virus may also be transmitted through contaminated surfaces, like medical needles or equipment. Proper sterilization is crucial when dealing with Ebola. This is why when a patient contracts Ebola, they are immediately quarantined so that the virus does not spread to others. Though Ebola may be contained in the U.S., it continues to run rampant in West Africa, claiming more than 3,000 lives.
Though Ebola is all the talk on the radio and news stations, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Frieden, assures the public that the case will be contained. According to the CDC, the Dallas case is under control so that it “does not spread widely” in the country.
Now, In our day and age, news travels quickly, and social media websites are the perfect platforms which contribute to the spread of news. Though in the past twenty four hours, I’ve seen enough ignorant “OMG be safe, don’t catch Ebola” Tweets and Facebook statuses to inspire me to make this blog post as a whole. So in response to those statements, here’s a quiz that I’ve made which will honestly determine whether or not you have contracted Ebola.
Have you been in direct contact (blood, urine, feces, vomit, semen) with someone showing symptoms of Ebola? NO.
Have you been in direct contact (blood, urine, feces, vomit, semen) with someone showing symptoms of Ebola? YES.
At this time there is no cure for Ebola as science is young. Doctors remain hopeful and experiment with blood transplants to hopefully find a cure before Ebola claims any more lives than it already has.