Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Ebola Scary toYou?

Read some facts of other more common viruses and then you will be sidetracked...
I have been reading about the present ‘Headlines’ on Ebola and how that may affect us and especially those of us in the nursing field. I also have talked to 2 Doctors about this subject and their opinion on the matter and seems quite stable and is very sensible. So between them and the trusty CDC I have put together some thoughts on the subject, and yes, many fears about it are false, you don’t need to be getting scared it is going to wreak havoc in the US. Some facts that put Ebola to shame are; in 2009 - between 8,870 and 18,300 deaths in the United States and up to 203,000 deaths worldwide were caused by the flu, the flu! Now look at the meager 4,000+ that have died from Ebola, what should we be focusing on? Take cancer, it is also a virus started disease, 1,638,910 died in the United States in 2012 from it. So by these facts I think it is easier to put Ebola in to a better perspective and know just how to feel about it.
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus.  Ebola is found in several African countries. The first Ebola species was discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.  The natural reservoir host of Ebola remains unknown. However, on the basis of available evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne with bats being the most likely reservoir. Four of the five subtypes occur in an animal host native to Africa.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history. This outbreak is affecting multiple countries in West Africa. One imported case and associated locally acquired cases in healthcare workers have been reported in the United States. CDC and its partners are taking precautions to prevent the further spread of Ebola within the United States. A person infected with Ebola can’t spread the disease until symptoms appear the time from exposure to when signs or symptoms of the disease appear (the incubation period) is 2 to 21 days, but the average time is 8 to 10 days. Since the incubation period is so short it is extremely easier to find cures and the source for. The diseases that take 2-10 years are very hard to catch in time and study.  Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).  Signs of Ebola include fever and symptoms like severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.        
Recovery from Ebola depends on the patient’s immune response. If you have a good immune system you have a higher chance of not catching the disease. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years. Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through your eyes, nose, or mouth) with Blood and body fluids (like urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.  Objects (like needles) that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.  Ebola is not spread through the air, water, or food. Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are under development, but they have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness. Last week 20 people were injected with the first vaccines as a trial since there was a 100% success rate with monkeys.
 “Ebola is hard to fight, but we know how to fight it and how to beat it…We’re going to put in extra measures of safety to protect Americans.” —CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH
Timely treatment of Ebola is important but challenging since the disease is difficult to diagnose clinically in the early stages of infection. Because early symptoms such as headache and fever are not specific to Ebolaviruses, cases of Ebola may be initially misdiagnosed.  Some of the ways to help with slowing down the process they are using right now is. Providing intravenous (IV), fluids and balancing electrolytes (body salts), Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure, Treating other infections if they occur
All cases of human illness or death from Ebola have occurred in Africa (with the exception of several laboratory contamination cases: one in England and two in Russia). One travel-associated case was diagnosed in the United States on September 30, 2014. On October 12, 2014, a healthcare worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who provided care for the index patient has tested positive for Ebola. CDC confirms that the healthcare worker is positive for Ebola.

       So after reading all that it doesn’t sound too bad now does it? Now I’m getting freaked out I might catch the flu or cancer…..
  Here is a link to a very good news report on ebola

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