EVD short for (Ebola virus disease) was first discovered in 1972 with two simultaneous outbreaks one in Nzara, Sudan, and the other in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola gets its name from a later outbreak that occurred near the Ebola Congo River. Sadly enough this virus is nothing new, however it has recently grabbed headlines due to the recent outbreaks in Liberia and West Africa which have claimed the lives of thousands and is the most deadly and aggressive Ebola outbreak since it was first discovered in 1972. On August 8, 2014 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the most recent Ebola outbreak to be an international crisis and said that all countries must work together to contain the virus to prevent it from becoming a worldwide pandemic.
It is believed that Ebola was first introduced to the human population from contact with animals who are natural carriers of the disease. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts and they can easily spread the virus to chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupine. Humans often encounter these animal dead in the rainforest which exposes them to the decease and increases the chance of transition. Any contact with an infected animal can cause someone to get infected through the transfer of blood, mucus, or bodily fluids. The disease is then spread from human to human through direct or indirect contact with bodily fluids. For example, a person can become infected from contact with bedding or clothing that had been previously infected by someone with Ebola. This means that healthcare workers who are treating patients infected with Ebola are particularly at risk especially when proper precautions and preventive training are not in place.
Once a person becomes infected with Ebola the incubation period is 1 to 21 days and humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. This makes the disease hard to spot early on. Once a person becomes infectious they will develop symptoms such as fever, headaches, muscle pains, and a sore throat, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, rashes, and eventually impaired kidney and liver function. In some cases both internal and external bleeding occurs (blood oozing from the stool and gums). The average rate of death for Ebola patients is around 50%, however this number is greatly increased in areas with poor healthcare systems such as West Africa and Liberia. The World Health Organization put out figures stating that so far 9,936 people have been infected by the recent Ebola outbreak, and of those 9,936 infected people 4,877 people have died from the decease, however this number is expected to rise as the decease spreads.
So nearly 10,000 people have been infected with Ebola from the recent outbreak and of those 10,000 infected people nearly half have died. Every time you turn on the TV to watch the news you hear about the Ebola virus. This all sounds pretty scary right? The question you should be asking yourself is - Should I be concerned? What should I be doing to protect myself? And will Ebola find its way to my town? Those are all very good questions and the answers are not that simple. I believe that Ebola is much more dangerous than officials have led us to believe. When this outbreak first occurred, the CDC and President Obama clearly stated not to worry and that Ebola would never make it to the United States. But guess what happened? Ebola made it to the United States. That is a clear indication that health officials did not have this disease under control and that they will say what they need to say in order to prevent a mass hysteria and panic. Once Ebola did find its way to the United States, officials told us not to worry. They claimed to have it under control. They stated that Ebola in the Unites States would be stopped with patient zero. But guess what happened? They did not have it under control and it has already spread to other people. Ebola hasn’t even been in the United States for one month. Imagine how things might look in one year if this disease continues to spread and so far that’s exactly what it has done. Let me be clear, I am not hear to bash the government or come off as a conspiracy theorist, however I do think it’s a good practice to not simple listen to everything to hear about such a deadly virus on blind faith. We must look at the facts, and determine what we can and should be doing to protect ourselves and our families. Now that you have some general background information about Ebola, let’s dive into some facts and some fiction as well as things you can do to protect yourself and your family from this deadly disease.
You might have already heard that the US government has a patent on Ebola and is behind some grand conspiracy to spread the virus. Yes it is true that the US government does have a patent on a stain of Ebola, however it is not for the reason that some some would lead you to believe. If you take a close look at the patent and the strain, you will find that it is for a much weaker strain than the deadly one that has been killing thousands of people. The reason the US government has this patent is for research purposes. It is not part of some grand conspiracy.
Another frightening thing we keep hearing is that Ebola is an airborne virus. Yes studies have shown that Ebola can be spread through the respiratory system of pigs which technically makes it an airborne virus however it does not affect humans in this way. Humans cannot contract Ebola via the respiratory system. The virus would need to mutate in order for this to happen. With each new Ebola case, the virus has the chance to mutate into an airborne virus that can effect humans. However, this is not something to be concerned about at the current time.
You may have been told that you have no defense against Ebola and that you are helpless to protect yourself and your family. You must simply wait on a cure or vaccine. This is simply not true. Your first line of defense against Ebola and any virus for that matter is your immune system. Be sure to protect yourself by keeping your immune system strong. There are plenty of ways to strengthen your immune system and prepare for a viral attack. Supplements such as Vitamin C, Garlic Extract, Olive Leaf Extract, and Reishi Mushrooms, have been shown to significantly strengthen the immune system and ward off viral attacks. If you intended to be traveling in an area with a large population of Ebola infected people, invest in protective gear like exam gloves, and face mask. Most medical supply stores should have all the essentials required to adequately protect yourself.
At this point it is too early to determine if Ebola will end up becoming a worldwide pandemic or not. However why take the chance and not protect yourself? Taking precautions against Ebola will not only provide you with a defense against the disease but such precautions are also good practices for general health. Be sure to wash your hands regularly and take very good care of your immune system in case you do come in contact with this deadly virus.