Why We Should Not Fear Ebola Virus Disease

Ebola virus disease is a devastating disease for those who are infected with the virus, because the case fatality rate can be as high as 90%, as seen in many previous epidemics or outbreaks of the disease. However, ebola virus disease should not be a fearsome disease, here is why? There are various important facts about ebola virus which makes it less fearsome, actually.
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  • Ebola virus cannot spread from one person to another so easily unlike flu or common cold virus. It needs very close contact or contact with infected fluid such as blood, saliva, sweat, semen etc. to transmit. So, at risk of transmission are family members (including partners) of an infected persons and healthcare workers who are engaged in treating the patient or engaged in handling blood or other fluid samples. But, with strict aseptic precaution at hospital or healthcare setting, transmission can be easily prevented. Infected individuals are not contagious until appearance of symptoms, hence not much to worry or fear the virus. Family members and friends who are engaged in burial of the infected patients who die of ebola virus disease need to be careful during burial, as direct contact during burial can transmit the disease.
  • Others at risk of ebola virus disease are the handlers of infected animals and the dead animal that die due to the virus. Places of known animal infection, need to handle all dead animals with strict precaution.

  • Due to the fact that ebola virus cannot easily spread, it is not difficult to isolate the infected patients and treat them separately and contain the disease. Track all the persons the patient has come in contact after becoming symptomatic and trace them and check them for possible ebola infection.
  • Last, but not least is the fact that all previous ebola outbreaks or epidemics has be controlled effectively. There is no reason why current epidemic cannot be controlled soon.

If ebola virus reach a region where it is absent and never seen before, with proper vigil, it is possible to easily control the spread of the virus. So, nothing much to worry or fear the ebola virus. Currently in many cities screening is done at the airports, for the individuals returning from West African region where ebola outbreak has taken place. This is another way to contain the virus and disease from spreading to new areas. Why people fear ebola is, because of high fatality rate, unlike many other common diseases, that kill millions of people every year.

“Image courtesy of Theeradech Sanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

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