At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we are aware of the public concern over the recent fear of a deadly Ebola outbreak in the United States. We have investigated much of the controversy as well as the facts of ebola. This blog is dedicated to clarifying some basic information about this disease.
Center For Natural and Integrative Medicine: Getting the Facts about Ebola
1. One of the primary facts that the United States Health and Human Services wants us to understand is the way the disease is spread. The stated categorically, “Ebola is NOT spread through casual contact, air, water, or food grown or legally purchased in the United States.”
2. Then the question in our minds becomes: How is Ebola transmitted? It is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of an infected person who is showing symptoms of the Ebola.
Learning the Symptoms of Ebola
3. Scientists have explained the symptoms of Ebola clearly. They include: fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, plus diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain.
Patients also show a lack of appetite, and abnormal bleeding.
The problem emerges from the fact that these symptoms can also indicate many other types of medical conditions. A blood test will confirm a diagnosis.
There is a time frame for these dangerous symptoms: They begin from 2 to 21 days after a person has been exposed to the Ebola virus. Studies have revealed that symptoms most commonly emerge 8-10 days after exposure.
4. Experts have assured us that contagion does not last forever or begin before a person registers symptoms. In other words, if a person does not have symptoms, it is safe to assume they are not contagious.
5. Just so you have a crystal clear understanding, and won’t succumb to unnecessary anxiety about Ebola, The Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine repeats one of the most difficult concepts to understand: “In order for the virus to be transmitted, an individual would have to have direct contact with the bodily fluids of an individual who is experiencing symptoms or has died of the disease.”
6. Scientists know how to stop Ebola and HHS is continuing efforts across the Department and through the government, to protect citizens’ health and well-being. Likewise, the CDC and WHO are continuing to battle the disease.
What Happened, and What’s Happening in Dallas
The CDC has published an Ebola fact-sheet which tells the story of the meticulous and quick response to go to the aid of the Dallas hospital where two health workers contracted the disease.
About 30 specialists from the CDC went to Dallas to “assist the hospital in infection control and the monitoring of health care workers who had contact with the index patient.” They sent experts in these medical fields.
• Infection control
• Ebola virus control and infectious diseases
• Laboratory science
• Personal protective equipment
• Hospital epidemiology
• Workplace safety
Solutions To Prevent the Spread of Ebola or Any Infective Disease
Sollution 1. Better suits and care in putting them on and taking them off has been a key issue in infection control. The CDC has explained that special training in proper suits, hoods and disinfection techniques is now in effect, as well as expert supervision during decontamination protocols.
Solution 2. CDC is providing additional onsite intensive infection control training. We know our standard infection control practices in U.S. healthcare facilities are established, but they must be rigorously and meticulously enforced. Establishing a Dedicated CDC Response
Solution 3. The CDC has created a CDC Response Team that could be on the ground within a few hours at any hospital that receives a confirmed patient with Ebola.
Solution 4. The CDC Response Team remains prepped and ready to provide “in-person, expert support and training on infection control, healthcare safety, medical treatment, contact tracing, waste and decontamination, public education.”
To a certain extent, the CDC Response Team put some teeth in the standards of protocol. “The CDC Response Team would help ensure that clinicians, and state and local public health practitioners, consistently follow strict standards of protocol to ensure safety of the patient and healthcare workers.”
Solution 5. The CDC is committed to providing more opportunities for U.S. healthcare providers to receive training and to get their questions answered from CDC experts. In fact, clinicians can get updates on all the Ebola-related events
CNN News reported Monday morning, Sept.20, “Health officials have cleared many of the people who came in contact with Texas patient Thomas Eric Duncan after monitoring their temperatures for 21 days.”
There have been a great many science fiction movies about fast-moving, vicious infections destroying an American populace, and perhaps that is why two-thirds of the people interviewed through CNN reported high anxiety about an epidemic of major consequences in America.
Ebola is not the “Andromeda Strain” of the cinema or the virus “Strain” of the recent television series. Ironically, even as we write this blog, “WHO has declared both Senegal, which had one case, and Nigeria, 19 confirmed cases and one probable, free of Ebola virus transmission.”
Sadly, in the humans vs. Ebola war, we have only won a battle, but not the war. The number of cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continues to multiply. It is still significant that this outbreak is considered the largest in world history — with more than 9,100 cases and 4,500 deaths due to Ebola.
A Special Update–Solution 6: “On October 21, CDC will host a live event in New York City with the Partnership for Quality Care and the Greater New York Hospital Association Healthcare Education Project to educate front-line healthcare workers on Ebola; the event will be streamed live to hospitals across the country.”
We of the Center for Natural and Integrated Medicine want Americans to worry less about United States Ebola, which is now highly controlled in the U.S., and more about getting your flu shot. Remember, the flu claimed the lives of 35,000 Americans during last year’s flu season. We want to see priorities prevail over paranoia.