Ebola Crisis; how much do you really know?

Kyra Adams, Entertainment Editor

In light of the recent Ebola crisis, it is necessary to remain accurately informed and level-headed. The first fact that needs to be brought to light is that the Ebola virus is not new, and was first discovered in 1976 in Africa. Ebola is often referred to as the “poor man’s disease” because it has the greatest impact on areas that severely lack human and infrastructural resources such as sanitary food and water as well as adequate hospitals and medicine.

The natural host for Ebola is the fruit bat. It is speculated that the original transmission of the virus from human to animal occurred due to unsanitary conditions while cooking, where open wounds are easily exposed to the animal’s blood. Ebola spreads through bodily fluids such as saliva or blood, and can be contracted by either direct contact or objects such as bedding or clothing that is contaminated. Even after death, the virus remains active on all surfaces that are not sanitized.

The incubation period, the time between infection and showing symptoms, is generally between 2 and 21 days. The virus is not contagious until the first symptoms are exhibited, which are sudden fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache or sore throat. Further symptoms are diarrhea, rash, and vomiting. If untreated, the infection can spread to harm the liver and kidneys as well. These symptoms are very similar to those of other severely infectious diseases, which makes an initial diagnosis difficult and requires extensive tests on blood samples.

Patients are cared for with oral and inter-venial hydration and treatment for the immediate symptoms. There is no proven treatment procedure that is exclusive to this illness, but many treatments are being tested. In addition, there are two potential vaccines that are currently going under testing for market approval.

In order to prevent the spread of Ebola, all reported cases are closely monitored. Not only the patient care, but the people and items they have come in contact with, as well as the places they have been. Raising community awareness and educating how to lower ones risk of contracting the virus is critical. Affected areas in Africa have outlawed consumption of meat from the jungle, which contains the majority of animals that are easy transmitters of the virus. Protective gear is necessary around infected animals and patients, along with routine washing of hands and any articles that have been potentially infected. Cleanliness is the greatest factor is lowering the risk of contracting Ebola.

Help prevent the spread of Ebola- and panic! Remain observant of the events that are taking place, and informed with the proper facts. Wash your hands thoroughly, don’t share food and drinks. Keep clean and carry on. Only one person in America has died of this disease. One. There are thousands of people dying every day from a plethora of other diseases and ailments. Our hospitals are well equip for far worse, which is proven by the recovery of the other Ebola patients.