The ebola virus is all over the news recently. Turn on any news station and you can’t go 20 minutes without hearing about. it People are buying emergency supplies, especially air filtration masks and respirators and ebola was all over the news.
In the interest of avoiding over-sensationalizing this article, we want to be clear that we are not medical doctors. We’re just making observations based on the conflicting information we hear from the news.
Something is unusual. The public is being told that there was little to worry about, primarily because ebola only passes through fluid. In other words, we were told that it doesn’t travel through air.
However, there seemed to be an odd relationship between medical care workers contracting ebola from their patients and information surrounding just how ebola is spread. Something’s not right. Just recently, a second health care worker was found in Dallas with the ebola virus. It makes you wonder – if ebola can get around so easily in a United States hospital setting, imagine what it would do to the public if it ever got into a major city.
Just yesterday I posted an article on getting ready for an ebola outbreak. Check out my article How To Prepare for Ebola for some tips and suggestions. It could save your life or a loved ones life.
In Africa, more than 240 health care workers have contracted ebola. Now, it’s entirely possible that these foreign medical workers don’t have quality equipment or have poor procedures on dealing with the deadly virus, but 240 is a lot of people. Assuming that these workers are educated on the issue, at least on some minimum level because they’ve been surrounded by death from the disease, isn’t it odd that so many of these workers have died?
What is so worrisome to me, is that these are trained professionals that know how deadly the ebola virus is, yet somehow they keep getting infected. The CDC and WHO has claimed that ebola is not airborne, and that it can only be contracted from touching bodily fluids of the infected. Even wikipedia says “Spreading through the air has not been documented in the natural environment.” Let’s clear one thing up, “Not documented” does not mean that it’s not airborne. It means that nobody wrote their research down about this topic.
But, how much bodily fluid does it take to infect someone with ebola?
Well, it turns out not to be much. A droplet of mucus the size of the tip of a needle can contain thousands of ebola capsids. Additionally, ebola can thrive in this droplet for several hours to days. Now, take this same tiny droplet, break it up into a hundred smaller pieces, and you just created a biological weapon.
1. All it takes is a simple sneeze to get ebola.
Have you ever read about this gross science behind a sneeze? Check it out here. It’s remarkable to think that the water droplets from a sneeze can stay suspended in the air for hours. Worse perhaps, is that any diseases in those droplets can survive for days, even after landing on a surface. A dry surface like a piece of paper can sustain bacteria life for several hours.
Ebola can be contracted from simply touching an unclean surface. All it takes is one physical ebola strand, and your chance of death within the next 14 days skyrocks to 50%.
2. Ebola might be airborne.
The news loves to claim that bodily fluids must be encountered to transmit the ebola virus. This leads us to imagine a sick patient on a hospital bead, maybe a loved one, that is deathly ill and might have some various form of mucus or blood on the bed next to them. Just don’t touch that gross fluid on their kleenex and avoid coming into contact with the bedspread. Simple right? Wrong! If ebola is airborne, then you’re risking your life by just being in the room with them.
If the virus is suspended in the air or has traveled to a nearby surface, then it will be very easy for you to contract the virus just be being in the same room as the infected person.
3. It looks like a simple flu at first.
We’ve all had to care for a sick loved one, whether that meant making a run to the pharmacy or sharing a box of tissues. But imagine a world where every sick person has a cloud of death suspended in the air around them. Seriously, ebola is this exact disease and it must be taken very seriously.
It’s important that everyone take into consideration where they are traveling and whom they come into contact with. During these times, I suggest having minimal contact with others and avoiding areas where the disease has been found before. Additionally, if someone in your home has flu-like symptoms and has been in the vicinity of an infected person, then call the hospital immediately and tell them your concerns.
4. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor or health care worker. I’m just a common worker and live a normal life like any middle class American. However, I am very careful about the online research that I do and I am very concerned about ebola. I’ve decided to do everything I can to prepare for ebola: check out How To Prepare for Ebola for some ideas I’ve put together about preparations for an ebola outbreak in the United States.
Remember, panicking has never done anyone any good. It’s best to prepare now and laugh later at how ridiculous we all were for thinking ebola would demolish the country. Don’t put yourself at risk by waiting for the government to solve all of these problems. The government has been slow to react to ebola, and has not been informative about preparing for a national ebola emergency, but we’ll save that topic for another day.