EBOLA Virus - Meadowlands Hospital Health Tips
Ebola virus has induced panic all over the world. With a fatality rate of up to 90%, it sure is a matter of grave concern. The list of affected countries was limited to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria but it was a matter of time and the first travel-associated case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States. World Health Organization has advised all world countries to further strengthen its infection control mechanism and surveillance to prevent an outbreak of Ebola virus disease like the current one in western Africa.
One should be vigilant enough and not let negligence creep in. Currently there is no vaccine available for humans. But the infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measures such as:
• Avoid areas of known outbreaks. Before traveling to Africa, find out about current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
• Wash your hands frequently. As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren't available.
• Avoid bush meat. In developing countries, avoid buying or eating the wild animals, including nonhuman primates, sold in local markets.
• Avoid contact with infected people. In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person's body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
• Follow infection-control procedures. If you're a health care worker, wear protective clothing, such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments.
• Don't handle remains. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.
Scientists are working on a variety of vaccines that would protect people from Ebola virus. Some of the results have been promising, but further testing is needed.
Where to find more information
For updated information about the Ebola outbreak please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola
For general information about Ebola, contact the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service 609‐826‐5964 or http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/
If you don’t have a doctor, go to the closest urgent care medical center or hospital emergency room, or call 911 if you need an ambulance. No matter where you go, always call before you get there to let them know that you have recently traveled to West Africa. This will help them take care of you better.