Ebola Fast Facts

Fact 1

You cannot get Ebola through air.

Ebola is not a respiratory disease like the flu, so it is not transmitted through the air. There is no evidence that Ebola is spread by coughing or sneezing. Ebola might be spread through large droplets (splashes or sprays) but only when a person is very sick. Hence, for safety, hospital workers must wear personal protective equipment around people with Ebola.

Fact 2

Ebola is not a food-borne or water-borne illness.

One cannot be infected with Ebola through food or drinks. Also, food and drinks imported into from West Africa are safe to consume and,till date, no one has been infected with Ebola from such imported foodstuff.

Fact 3

Mosquitoes do not carry Ebola.

Although, mosquitoes are notoriously known for causing the deadly malaria and dengue diseases in the world, they don’t carry Ebola. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus.Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have become infected with Ebola virus and spread it.

Fact 4

Your pet cannot spread Ebola.

Till date, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Because the possibility of an Ebola outbreak spreading rapidly in our country is very low, the risk to pets is also very low, too.

Fact 5

Handshake or hug does not cause Ebola.

Ebola is spread through direct contact with body fluids from a person sick with Ebola.

Direct contact means that blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth, or an open cut or wound.

Fact 6

A person with Ebola but no symptoms can’t spread the disease.

Ebola is only spread from one person to another once symptoms begin. Symptoms of Ebola appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days (average 8 to 10 days) after being exposed. Once someone recovers from Ebola, one can no longer spread the virus. However, Ebola virus has been found in semen for up to 3 months. People who recover from Ebola are advised to abstain from sex or use condoms for 3 months.

Fact 7

Airline travel safety is not affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Airline travellers in the country are extremely unlikely to become infected withEbola. All passengers especiallyarriving from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, or Mali at the international airports in the country are screened at the pre-immigration counters using thermal scanners and virus tracking equipment. Also, the immigration staff delegated for Ebola detection have been provided with protective gear and a team of trained doctors have been appointed by the Airport Health Organization.

Fact 8

Not everyone who returns from West Africa with a fever or a cough has Ebola.

Your family, neighbours, or friends returning from countries with Ebola outbreaks do not pose a danger to you and your family. Not everyone coming from countries with Ebola outbreaks has been in contact with someone who has Ebola. Travellers coming from suchcountries will be given a mandatory health card at the airport to help monitor themselves for Ebola symptoms. In addition, they will be actively monitoredby public health officials. It’s safe for you and your family to be around people being monitored as long as they do not have signs or symptoms of Ebola.

Fact 9

If you’re feeling sick, think flu not Ebola.

Although flu and Ebola have some similar symptoms, Ebola is rare disease, particularly in other parts of the world. So far, India has not reported a single case of Ebola. Flu is very common. Every year, millions of people are infected with flu, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and tens of thousands die from flu. Unless you have had direct contact with someone who is sick with Ebola, your symptoms are most likely caused by flu and you do not have Ebola.

Fact 10

Expensive hand sanitizers are not needed to kill the disease.

Frequent hand washing with soap and water is recommended, particularly if you are in contact with an infected patient or his/her surroundings. Alcohol gel can be useful but if the hands are visibly dirty it is important to wash your hands with clean water and soap, health officials say.

Fact 11

Turn a deaf ear to rumours

With Ebola threatening to spread, the spate of rumours and misinformation also grows. Consumption of garlic or raw onions once a day for three days will not protect you from Ebola. Daily drink of condensed milk or bitter kola are also not a secret weapon against the disease. Bathing with salty water or drinking it, will not prevent infection with Ebola. You can help protect yourself by avoiding close contact with anyone who has signs or symptoms of the disease.

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/top-10-things.pdf . Last accessed on 25th November, 2014

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html . Last accessed on 25th November, 2014


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