Tag Archives: CDC

Ebola and Sneezing

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Can You Get Ebola from a Sneeze?

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Do you have of fear of getting Ebola? I’m not talking about panic just the thought that it could happen. There is a lot known about the disease but there is also unknowns. I am thinking about it because my husband flies frequently to Washington DC and Dallas. I know on those flights he is with people from all over the world. He was in the airport on the day the man who eventually died was there.
I know if he contracts the disease, I will also. I’m not so much afraid for myself as I am for my children and their families. I live close to my daughter and I am of the age that if I get sick she comes to me to help. What do I do from now on just tell her to stay away. I know if it’s not flu like symptoms then there won’t be an issue. I just have to leave this in God’s hands.
I think it is important for everyone to stay aware of what is happening. Knowledge about the disease will keep down panic, no matter what is happening in the world.

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While experts argue over whether Ebola will mutate and become airborne, questions linger about what exactly airborne means in the first place.

For example, could you get Ebola from a sneeze? And, if so, would that mean it was airborne?

“With airborne illnesses, like influenza or tuberculosis, you can easily get sick by inhaling tiny pathogenic particles floating around in the air,” according to NPR, based on interviews with two virologists, Alan Schmaljohn at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Jean-Paul Gonzalez at Metabiota.

That’s not the case with Ebola, which requires large droplets to transfer.

Could Ebola Become Airborne?

“That means an Ebola-infected person would likely have to cough or sneeze up blood or other bodily fluids directly in your face for you to catch the virus,” Schmaljohn told NPR. “If that drop of blood doesn’t land on your face, it will just fall to the ground. It won’t be swimming in the air, waiting to be breathed in by an unsuspecting passerby.”

So while it’s theoretically possible for someone with Ebola to sneeze and emit a large drop of saliva into someone’s eye, it’s so unlikely that health officials don’t waste much time parsing out those hypothetical scenarios, Schmaljohn said.

“WHO is not aware of any studies that actually document this mode of transmission. On the contrary, good quality studies from previous Ebola outbreaks show that all cases were infected by direct close contact with symptomatic patients,” the World Health Organization says.

Quick Ebola Test, Not Quarantine, Could Be Best Defense

Doctors tend to have a different definition of “airborne” than the general public, Reuters points out. To doctors, it means that the germs are so tiny that they can float in the air for long periods, even when dry. They can infect people from a distance because they make their way deep into lungs when inhaled. Chickenpox, measles and tuberculosis are examples of airborne diseases.

A more appropriate term for Ebola, then, may be “droplet-borne.”

With Ebola, “when someone coughs, sneezes or … vomits, he releases a spray of secretions into the air,” according to Reuters. “This makes the infection droplet-borne. Droplet-borne germs can travel in these secretions to infect someone a few feet away, often through the eyes, nose or mouth. This may not seem like an important difference, but it has a big impact on how easily a germ spreads.”

And the good news? Droplet-borne diseases are much harder to spread than airborne illnesses.

BY SHEILA M. ELDRED

Ebola: Are You Afraid?

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XXXXX WARNING, PICTURES MAY BE DISTURNING XXXXX

ebolaThis article came out from ABC News and it got me to thinking about if I am afraid of catching the disease but I am afraid for my children and Grandchildren. I don’t think I’m afraid but I do have a chance of being exposed through my husband who flies out of Washington DC frequently. Thousands of people fly out of the airport he uses daily. He returned from a trip a week ago. What if that first case was on his plane flying into Dallas? It gives one a lot to think about.

Are you afraid of being exposed? For me personally I have to leave it in God’s hands and stay vigilant. The article below gives you some info that you need to know.

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ebola2The deadly Ebola virus has arrived in the United States with the first diagnosis on American soil this week, bringing national attention back to the outbreak that has ravaged West Africa.

Health officials confirmed that a patient in Dallas was diagnosed with Ebola about a week after arriving from Liberia to visit family on Sept. 20. The patient was placed in isolation Sept. 28, but may have exposed five school age children in the days between arriving in Texas and being isolated.

“There is no doubt in my mind we will stop it here,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said at a news conference.

ebola3Ebola has killed 3,338 people and infected 3,840 others since the outbreak began in March, making it the worst outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976. More people have died from Ebola in the last seven months than in every other Ebola outbreak to date combined, according to data from the World Health Organization.

Although those who have received care on American soil have generally fared well, WHO officials have said that the world needs to do more to stop the outbreak in Africa and keep it from expanding.

ebola5The CDC warned that the outbreak could reach 1.4 million cases by the end of January without proper intervention. But with additional resources and intervention, the outbreak could be over by about the same time, the agency said.

Here’s what you need to know about the Ebola virus

What Is Ebola?

The Ebola virus is as a group of viruses that cause a deadly kind of hemorrhagic fever. The term “hemorrhagic fever” means it causes bleeding inside and outside the body. The virus has a long incubation period of approximately eight to 21 days. Early symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, sore throat and headaches.

As the disease progresses, the virus can impair kidney and liver function and lead to external and internal bleeding. It’s one of the most deadly viruses on Earth with a fatality rate that can reach between approximately 50 to 90 percent. There is no cure.
How Is It Transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person, either directly or through contaminated surfaces, needles or medical equipment. A patient is not contagious until he or she starts showing signs of the disease.

Thankfully, the virus is not airborne, which means a person cannot get the disease simply by breathing the same air as an infected patient.

Where Did the Virus Come From?

The dangerous virus gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was near the site of one of the first outbreaks. The virus was first reported in 1976 in two almost simultaneous outbreaks in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They killed 151 and 280 people, respectively.

Certain bats living in tropical African forests are thought to be the natural hosts of the disease. The initial transmission of an outbreak usually results from a wild animal infecting a human, according to the WHO. Once the disease infects a person, it is easily transmissible between people in close contact.

Until this outbreak, approximately 2,361 people had been infected since the disease was identified in 1976. More than 1,548 of those infected died from it.

How Is It Transmitted?

The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or secretions from an infected person, either directly or through contaminated surfaces, needles or medical equipment. A patient is not contagious until he or she starts showing signs of the disease.

Thankfully, the virus is not airborne, which means a person cannot get the disease simply by breathing the same air as an infected patient.

Who Is At Risk?

The virus is not airborne, which means those in close contact can be infected and are most at risk. A person sitting next to an infected person, even if they are contagious, is not extremely likely to be infected.

Health workers and caregivers of the sick are particularly at risk for the disease because they work in close contact with infected patients during the final stages of the disease when the virus can cause internal and external bleeding.

In this outbreak alone, more than 100 health workers have been infected and at least 50 of them have died, according to the WHO.

Are You Sharing?

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Flu sickHello, it’s the nurse in me again, wanting to remind everyone that we have an epidemic on our hands with the flu. If you have symptoms of the flu then stay home because I don’t want it. I love to share but just not this nasty little bug. In case you have forgotten the symptoms of the flu, let me remind you. The flu virus is a respiratory illness and can cause many of the symptoms that everyone has experienced at one time or another: fever, body aches, coughing, congestion and fatigue. Most of the symptoms that are caused by the flu virus could also just as easily be the result of a cold virus infection, according to the CDC.

Some differences: the flu virus is more likely to cause fever — and a higher fever, at that. Flu sufferers have more severe symptoms overall and are more likely to face fatigue, body aches and a dry cough. Cold sufferers, by contrast, more commonly have a stuffed or runny nose and respiratory congestion. Some flu sufferers also have intestinal symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Despite concerns about the gravity of illness, the truth is that most flu cases are mild and do not require treatment or hospitalization. Flu, unlike cold, can in rare instances lead to serious conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis, and it can even lead to death in vulnerable populations. People with a higher than average risk for complications include children under five years, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems and senior citizens. Asthmatics, those with blood disorders, congestive heart failure and even those who are morbidly obese are also at greater risk, according to the CDC.

If you’re in one of the high-risk groups listed by the CDC (check here), it may be a good idea to check with a healthcare professional if you begin to experience flu-like symptoms.

“Reasons to visit the ER include severe dehydration, lethargy, confusion, or any other truly concerning symptom,” Stork says. “What seems like the flu is not always the flu and vice versa and sometimes a visit to the ER is needed to properly diagnose and treat.”