5 Things to Know: Ebola

Microscopic view of a strand of Ebola

Microscopic view of a strand of Ebola

Halle Garrett, Editor-in-chief

A number of students have acted in a frenzy, worried that if a pupil beside them sneezes, then they might contract Ebola. These ludicrous thoughts are completely false and students should have no worries about becoming infected with this rare virus. The truth of Ebola is revealed in these five frequently thought about questions:

1. What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that attacks almost every tissue and organ in the human body. The virus originated in Africa, more specifically Sudan and Zaire in 1976. Since then, there have been thousands of estimated cases with a 90% fatality rate. Ebola is extremely infectious, which means exposures will most likely lead to sickness; however, it is not highly contagious, which means it doesn’t spread easily.

2. How does Ebola spread?
Ebola is not airborne. The only way for this virus to spread is through bodily fluids such as urine, saliva, sweat, feces, semen, and vomit. A person can contract Ebola if any of these fluids make their way to one’s mouth, nose, mouth or cracks in one’s skin. Health officials believe that this virus originally spread from animals to humans. The original host is believed to be the fruit bat .

3. What are the symptoms of Ebola?
According to the World Health Organization, symptoms include weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, throat soreness, rashes, red eyes, difficulty breathing or swallowing and in the most severe cases, external and internal bleeding.

4. Can there be an outbreak in America?
A chance of an outbreak in the U.S. is very small according to health officials. The U.S can isolate the virus much better and have more access to sterilized medical supplies than most of the developing countries in West Africa. Thomas Eric Duncan was the first person to die of Ebola on U.S.soil. Due to Ebola being very infectious, two nurses that had been treating him in Dallas contracted the virus and are in insulation units being treated.

5. How can Ebola be prevented?
Currently there is no vaccination for Ebola that is readily equipped for human use.According to Mayo Clinic, a precautionary step is washing your hands with soap and water. It is an extremely slim chance for a person to become infected with Ebola; however, this simple task can keep you healthy and happy.

Ebola should not be taken lightly; however, do not worry about the possibility of contracting this rare virus. According to Newsweek, you are more likely to die from Malaria, food poisoning ,or even a bee sting.

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