What is it that makes the Ebola virus so scary? Is it that it is highly contagious that can kill up to 90% of those who catch it? Maybe it’s the fact that there are no approved vaccines? How about the fact that some experts are saying this can go airborne.
For me, a health care professional for over 20 years, those are some great reasons to be very fearful. However, the biggest concern is that the general public has little to no knowledge of the virus other than they occasionally hear about something called Ebola in the news and they know its bad.
That lack of knowledge by the general public, of this invisible enemy, could be our biggest threat. In order to fight an enemy we need to:
A) Acknowledge we have an enemy, and
B) Know the enemy.
I’m afraid that unless we get a text alert or tweet directed specifically to us, the general public just doesn’t care. When the people actually decide to care it may be too late. Panic will, of course, set in and those who chose not to care, who chose not to take action when they could have, will be left in the disease process of the Ebola virus.
Symptoms of the virus include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Diarrhea (may be bloody)
- Red eyes.
- Raised rash.
- Chest pain and cough.
- Stomach pain.
- Severe weight loss.
- Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices, such as ears, nose and rectum)
- Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, although 8-10 days is most common.
Now is the time to take notice of this killer. We need to educate ourselves with the ways it spreads and how to prevent it. Knowledge, recognition and preparation are great ways to fight this invisible killer. And should circumstances turn into some zombie-style movie, make sure you and your family are the ones that took the time to prepare.