Why You Shouldn't Be Worried about the Ebola Virus in the US - ITS Tactical
 

Why You Shouldn’t Be Worried about the Ebola Virus in the US

By Bryan Black

Ebola Virus 01

If you’ve been reading Facebook or happen to catch the news between yesterday and today, you’ll probably know that the United States has had its first diagnosed Ebola virus case in Dallas, TX.

With this being close to us here at ITS HQ, we wanted to put together the facts about what’s going on and also ease some of the panic that’s circulating with some no-nonsense knowledge and information on how to protect yourself. Please share this with family and friends to further educate those around you.

Ebola Virus

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) announced the confirmation of a patient at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital with the Ebola virus on Tuesday, September, 30th. Other than being male, no further details have been released on his background, other than that he was visiting family in the D/FW area. He’s being held at DPH under quarantine while the CDC investigates others he could have come into contact with.

While the patient diagnosed with Ebola was checked for a fever before he left Liberia, his origin before landing at D/FW Airport, he didn’t have a fever and wouldn’t have been at the stage of the virus where he could have transmitted it to others. The CDC hasn’t recommended that anyone on that flight be screened either.

After the Ebola outbreak spread in Africa during the summer, it’s been standard practice to check all passengers on airplanes for fever before they board. That’s not a guarantee that someone infected with the virus wouldn’t get through and obviously this has happened with the case in Dallas.

Here’s the timeline that’s been released by the CDC thus far, which was reported by local news station WFAA.

  • September 19: The adult patient boards a flight to the U.S. in Liberia after being screened for Ebola symptoms
  • September 20: The patient arrives in the United States
  • September 24: Patient shows first symptoms of Ebola
  • September 26: Patient seeks initial medical care
  • September 28: Patient admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Common Sense Tips

Our own medical correspondent extraordinaire, Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics, passed along this CDC information and some of his own tips on the virus.

As you’ll read below, Ebola is transmitted through direct contact, so the N95 respirator masks that might be your first inclination to pick up, are unnecessary. What’s important are the tips below and proper body substance isolation. Also remember that it’s easier to get the flu than Ebola.

The concern is complacency when it comes to potential for this to spread, meaning the health care worker that doesn’t wash their hands before and after patient contact. That being said, our healthcare system is well beyond what it is in developing countries and as the CDC director has pointed out, “the United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities.”

CDC Information on Ebola

  • Ebola signs and symptoms include; a fever of 101.5ºF (38.6ºC) or greater, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)
  • Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.
  • Ebola is transmitted through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:
    • Blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.
    • Objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus.
    • Infected animals
  • Ebola is NOT spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. We say again, the Ebola virus is NOT spread through the air.
  • Prevention: If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following.
    • Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of infected patients.
    • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
    • Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
    • Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
    • Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated. Ebola patients treated here in the U.S. are kept in strict isolation and access is limited to specific healthcare professionals.
    • As always, use proper hand washing techniques with soap and clean water. This should already be part of your daily habit.

Further CDC Ebola information can found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

More from the CDC

“The CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person, and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.”

“We do know how to stop Ebola’s further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the United States.” Excerpt via CDC

The important thing to remember here is not to panic and trust that the CDC can contain the case in Dallas. Anyone concerned about possible exposure may call CDC-Info at 800-CDC-INFO for more information.

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Discussion

19 comments
JoeFreedom
JoeFreedom

Maybe you guys haven't heard...Ebola is airborne now.  The CDC is contacting all hospitals and informing them to treat it as an airborne virus and take precautions for that.  My hospital was notified 2 weeks ago.

Castro1
Castro1

The Marburg strain of Ebola can be airborne and is probably the most deadliest, like the Spanish flu it will disseminate the population with no known cure. Pray the current strain we are experiencing does not mutate to the Marburg strain,if this happens there will be no need to worry about over population on planet earth.

Allwet
Allwet

....and don't go to West Central Africa.

Otherwise, prep for the scare tactics, because they will come-its an easy button and the general SOP of advertisers and media in general, the world over. Educate yourself correctly, and that fear they so want to take advantage of, will never be there in the first place.

Chuck
Chuck

A couple of thoughts and comments, as a paramedic:  I have read the CDC (yes, a governmental agency) also recommends the use specifically of soap and water for handwashing, the alcohol based gels are useless in this case.

While we are not at the China level of wearing N95 masks, in the medical field we still utilize them fairly liberally in cases of respiratory issues, coughing and such, and we are ramping up in my agency to be a little more aggressive.

While there are no reported cases of airborne transmission, record keeping there is sketchy at best and CDC/WHO keeps preaching that people are not contagious until symptomatic.  Does that mean some switch flips as soon as the person feels a little nauseated?  Maybe the patient isn't noticing symptoms yet and the magic switch has flipped and they are now contagious when they were not 30 minutes ago.  If were the person that sat next to this American patient zero on the plane for 15 hours, I would be EXTREMELY concerned right now.

There have also been numerous reports of multiple mutations in this outbreak. A virus only needs to mutate that one strand of its DNA to become airborne and BOOM, pandemic.

I am not trying to be an alarmist and freak out, by any means (although the books Hot Zone and Cobra Event scared the crap out of me).  Professionally, I am being a little more conservative in light of Ebola and EV D68.  I don't want the diseases and sure don't want to bring them home to my family.  Universal Precautions and a large dose of uncommon common sense will go a long way to reducing the spread. Along with stopping commercial travel to/from W Africa and true screening at ports of entry (close borders maybe).  You might hate my take on this but it just my two cents.

grahampositive06
grahampositive06

For anyone concerned about the risk of contamination via surfaces (fomites) that have been contacted by infected individuals, I would direct you to read the following paper which concluded that the risk was low, especially when standard decontamination and safety protocols were followed. 


http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/196/Supplement_2/S142.full.pdf+html


Also, a small correction about the fact that EBOV "IS NOT" transmitted through the air. There have been no recorded cases of EBOV transmission between humans via aerosol contact (aerosol meaning the small amount of saliva droplets that are emitted when you breathe and speak). Salivary viral titers appeared low in the study mentioned above, so the risk would appear to be low. However - that does not rule out the possibility of transmission via aerosol route. 


despite contradictory reports (the Canadian Public Health Agency for example says that "In laboratory settings, non-human primates exposed to aerosolized ebolavirus from pigs have become infected, however, airborne transmission has not been demonstrated between non-human primates"

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/ebola-eng.php )


this paper documents the aresol transmission of EBOV among nonhuman primates (rhesus monkeys) in the laboratory setting. This is not evidence that such transmission can occur in humans - or indeed in nonhuman primates outside of the laboratory setting - but it does raise the possibility.  


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1997182/ 

Skip Harris
Skip Harris

@grahampositive06 Very well said.


You have to admit though, that the Reston Ebola incident(s) was / is interesting. I am NOT, Repeat NOT suggesting we should freak out or even fear Ebola spreading more easily.  Just an interesting addition to the Ebola discussion.

LassoOfTruth
LassoOfTruth

mcdbrendan I am presenting information to help further the discussion and I have offered my burden of proof.  Where is yours?  Throwing an expletive at me doesn't mean that the information is wrong...

ModernSurvival
ModernSurvival

Thanks for being a voice of sanity Bryan, I hear from people daily either freaking out or freaking out that other people are going to freak out. 

bryanpblack
bryanpblack moderator

@ModernSurvival Thanks Jack!

SurvivalPunk
SurvivalPunk

THANK YOU SO MUCH BRIAN! There is so much fear and panic going on right now. I interviewed Dr.Bones and Nurse Amy on my podcast a while back. All about ebola. The main reason people are dying is poor health and poor medical facilities. We are, generally, much healthier in America and have way better medical facilities. I am not worried at all about Ebola. 

mcdbrendan
mcdbrendan

@LassoOfTruth You need to check your sources, this "doctor" that is causing you concern is a fraud. Not only are the numbers they quote not based in reality (90% mortality rate? Yeah right, more like 50% according to the World Health Organization) but they recommend treatment using unproven materials like nano silver. From the site: "As you will see, the truth of the cure, 10 PPM Nano Silver, comes from research done at some point in the past by, and declassified in 2009 by, the US Government itself." BULLSHIT. Quit spreading nonsense like this. 

LassoOfTruth
LassoOfTruth

@mcdbrendan I am presenting information to help further the discussion and I have offered my burden of proof.  Where is yours?  Throwing an expletive at me doesn't mean that the information is wrong...let's have an intellectual discourage than to try to shut out exploring new ideas and protocols that may save our lives or others. Thank you.

swoo
swoo

@mcdbrendan 

Maybe you should check your sources...if you trust WHO and the US govt, you need your head checked...all run by the elitists.  

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps

This is bad information.  The guidance from CIDRAP is that you need at least N95 for patients in the first stages, and full face respirators for the later stages.


http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/09/commentary-health-workers-need-optimal-respiratory-protection-ebola


It's not truly airborne in the clinical sense, but it is capable of aerosol transmission.


Even the CDC admits that N95 is the minimum for aerosol generating procedures, while ignoring that the patients themselves, because of the coughing, sneezing, and vomiting are aerosol producers all of their own.

Lone Star Medics
Lone Star Medics

@everlastingphelps You would have to sneeze directly into someone's mouth, eyes, or nose to transmit the virus.  Should people infected with any virus and those who may potentially be infected use N95's?  Absolutely.  However just be aware that they do break down after being used in a couple of hours.  The moisture from breathing will start to saturate the material, which can then become less effective of a barrier.

As for healthcare workers... they would need to implement their SOP's regarding patient isolation and their body substance isolation protocols.  But that is for healthcare workers that are in direct contact with those infected patients.  

We're not to the point of having to walk around town wearing N95 masks.  
-Caleb, Lone Star Medics

Skip Harris
Skip Harris

@everlastingphelps It is also worth knowing, for a non-panic type of discussion, that we have seen possible airborne spread of a non-human (monkey) strains of ebola that was spread between monkeys in a US quarantine in different rooms suggesting that this strain may have been transmitted via airborne route.  This was supposedly never studied and verified????? Yeah right!


The outbreak so concerned all of the appropriate initialed agencies, that the building was eventually torn down and import of those monkeys were banned.

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