Tuesday, July 02, 2019 by Melissa Smith
In 2014, the Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa where 11,000 people died. Although it was contained for a few years, it has re-emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Ebola virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever with up to a 90 percent death rate. An infected person will show symptoms within two to 21 days.
Its symptoms start out like the flu, with cough, sore throat, fever, aches and pains, diarrhea, malaise, nausea, and vomiting. As the virus advances, the victim starts to get bruising, rashes, bloody diarrhea and vomiting, bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth, and multiple organ failure leading to death.
A person can contract the virus by being exposed to infected bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, vomit, perspiration, or stools. In many African countries, the practice of preparing their deceased loved ones for burial is often the cause of exposure. It can also spread via sexual contact because the virus can stay in sperm for months, even as the victim recovers. (Related: Ebola virus remains in survivors’ semen six months after recovery.)
Currently, there is no cure for the Ebola virus disease, so preparing for an outbreak is important. Here are some tips that can help you cope if anything happens:
The Centers for Disease and Prevention suggests avoiding the following in an area affected by Ebola:
Apply these same prevention methods when traveling to an area affected by an Ebola outbreak. After returning from an area affected by Ebola, monitor your health for 21 days. If you develop symptoms of Ebola virus disease, seek medical help right away.