Ebola hits DFW: Symptoms and prevention tips highlighted

Poster from UN.ORG
Poster from UN.ORG

“There is no indication that the sickness has become ‘airborne’ …”

With the first case of the Ebola virus diagnosed in the United States, as reported by the Washington Post on Sept. 30, 2014, the little personal information on the patient that has been released is that he arrived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Sept. 20 from the West African country of Liberia. Due to privacy laws, the yet to be publicly identified male is undergoing intensive care treatment at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The hospital is also observing a strict isolation protocol while the medical staff attempts to keep the strain isolated from the general public.

One of the other tidbits of information given to the public was the Director of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Thomas Frieden stating that those passengers who were on the same intercontinental flight with the patient are in no danger of contracting the deadly virus because the patient was not “symptomatic” at the time of the flight. With the world’s top epidemiologists telling the public that Ebola can only be contracted via direct contact with bodily fluids, there is no indication that the sickness has become “airborne,” the lay-term for the almost invisible droplets of mucus and/or saliva expelled during sneezing or coughing.

Meanwhile, News92fm.com of nearby Houston cites the CDC’s initial symptoms of the Ebola virus as fever, severe headache, joint and muscle aches, chills, and weakness. The Houston news station also makes note that there’s no vaccine or cure for those who’ve become infected. With a mortality rate somewhere between 60 to 90 percent depending upon the strain, the best armor against Ebola may be as far away as soap and warm water.

Basic personal hygiene coupled with a hand wash consisting at least 60 percent alcohol have been recommended by the Mayo Clinic as the first line of defense for those concerned that may have come into contact with Ebola. Likewise, they also strongly advise the following preventative steps: Avoiding travel to areas with known outbreaks; refraining from eating bush meat from developing nations, especially those where Ebola virus has been found; avoid contact with infected people, including their body fluids and tissues; wear protective clothing, including gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields if you are a health care worker; dispose of needles and sterilize other instruments regularly to prevent infection; do not touch or handle the bodies of people who have died of the Ebola virus.