Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever: Myths and Truths

by CHRISTINA CARAYANNOPOULOS
carayanc@mtmary.edu

If you happen to be as paranoid as I am, then you are already contemplating your Ebola pandemic survival plan.

From the moment I had learned that the Ebola virus had made its way to Texas, I immediately was ready to become that girl in the plastic bubble. However, not to fear, this post will hopefully put your worries at ease.

Here are some common myths related to the Ebola virus, with information provided by the Center for Disease Control:

MYTH: Ebola is an airborne virus.

TRUTH: According to the Center for Disease Control, Ebola is transmitted through “direct contact” with bodily fluids such as urine, blood and saliva, among other things, from an infected person. If these fluids happen to come in contact with the eyes, mouth or any open wounds, there is risk of infection.

It’s no secret that our best defense against any virus is to avoid touching the face or mouth with soiled hands, so frequent hand washing is recommended.

MYTH: Ebola is only transmitted by infected people.

TRUTH: Individuals can also become infected by coming into contact with other infected mammals such as bats, apes or monkeys.

MYTH: There is no treatment for Ebola.

TRUTH: Although there are no anti-viral medications or vaccines, there is treatment available to infected individuals. According to the CDC, treatment includes, “intravenous fluids, balancing electrolytes, maintaining vital signs, providing oxygen, replacement of lost blood and treating other infections as they occur.”

Although it is still a scary situation, we must have faith in the diligent scientists who are working for our safety; the CDC, who is working on containment around the clock; and ourselves, who will care for our hygiene and take our vitamins. We will get through this!

Ebola-infographic

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