How to avoid contracting Ebola
Uganda is currently fighting a resurgent outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease. So far, five deaths have been confirmed and another 19 yet to be determined if caused by Ebola, according to President Yoweri Museveni.
Before we discuss, prevention, here is what you need to know.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a serious viral infection that causes an acute, serious illness that is often fatal if untreated.
It was first reported in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, one in what is now Nzara, South Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democreatic Republic of Congo. The latter occurred in a village near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.
The greatest Ebola outbreak since the virus’s discovery in 1976 occurred in West Africa between 2014 and 2016. After beginning in Guinea, the virus spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia through land borders.
Ebola virus is transmitted to people from wild animals (such as fruit bats, porcupines, and non-human primates) and then spreads from one person to another through direct contact with blood or other body fluids (such as: vomit, diarrhea, urine, breast milk, sweat, semen) of an infected person who has symptoms of Ebola or who has recently died from Ebola.
Health-care workers have frequently been infected while treating patients with suspected or confirmed EVD. This occurs through close contact with patients when infection control precautions are not strictly practiced.
Direct contact with the deceased’s body during burial rituals has been linked to an increase in Ebola cases.
As long as the virus is present in a person’s blood, they are contagious.
It’s possible for pregnant women who contract acute Ebola and recover from the illness to continue harbor the virus in their breastmilk or in tissues and fluids associated to pregnancy. They run the danger of passing this infection to both themselves and the unborn child. After recovering from Ebola, women are not at danger for transmitting the virus to their unborn children.
If an Ebola patient who is breastfeeding wants to keep doing so, she should be encouraged to do so. Before she can begin, her breast milk must be examined for the presence of Ebola.
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms.
Symptoms include; fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat. This is then followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, In some cases, both internal and external bleeding (for example, oozing from the gums, or blood in the stools), Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.
Just like Covid-19, avoiding contact and maintaining regular hygiene is crucial.
- Wash your hands frequently using soap and water – use alcohol hand rubs if soap is not available
- Make sure fruit and vegetables are washed and peeled before you eat them
- Avoid physical contact with anyone who has possible symptoms of an infection
- Do not handle dead animals or their raw meat
- Do not eat “bushmeat” (wild animals that have been killed for food)