(BlackMediaScoop) With the Ebola virus already claiming more than 800 lives in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, this outbreak is one of the worst to ever strike Africa.
According to an infectious disease specialist with Staten Island University Hospital, it is highly unlikely you need to freak out.
“We aren’t at risk of having an Ebola epidemic in America,” said Dr. Ambreen Khalil. “Eighty to 90 percent of people die from Ebola, but it’s not an American disease.”
Here are some basic facts about the disease…
1. The Ebola virus, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. According to the World Health Organization, the virus is transmitted to people from wild animals. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the most common carriers of the Ebola virus.
2. Ebola is highly contagious and can kill its victims in two to 20 days. “The problem is that the virus basically activates the immune system in such a way that it shuts down the body itself,” Dr. Khalil said. “Once the body comes in contact with the virus, it goes into the blood and spreads rapidly through the body — into the brain, liver, kidneys, and starts shutting it down.”
3. Ebola is contracted through saliva, semen and blood. “It’s spread through any bodily secretions that you can touch,” Dr Khalil said. “It can go through the skin.”
4. Ebola mimics symptoms of the flu and stomach viruses. It is often spread among healthcare professionals, because it’s not immediately known that a patient has contracted the Ebola virus. “People who have the virus exhibit severe gastrointestinal symptoms, but you also see a lot of internal and external bleeding,” Dr. Khalil said.
5. There is no vaccination for Ebola. “There are patients who will recover from the virus, but that’s basically their own body overrunning the virus,” said Dr. Khalil.
Now you know.
What do you think?