Ebola Outbreak Spreading in Africa…
Will it Come Here?
Terror is gripping West Africa, where a deadly Ebola outbreak is spreading.
The outbreak started in March. Scientists quickly identified it as Zaire ebolavirus, the “Zaire” strain of Ebola— which has up to a 90% mortality rate. But later, they revised their report, instead blaming the outbreak on an entirely new strain of virus.
It’s similar to the Zaire strain, but it’s not the same, and that’s making it even harder for healthcare professionals to diagnose new cases.
Near the center of the outbreak, a tent camp serves as a treatment center. Anyone who enters the tent where infected patients are staying must wear a protective suit. They wash their hands with bleach when they leave. And everything else that comes out of the tent— clothing, bedding, even used medical supplies— is burned.
But still the infection has spread.
In just a month, the disease has claimed the lives of 112 people in Guinea and 13 more in Liberia. Additional cases are suspected in Mali and Sierra Leone.1
New reports suggest could still be spreading, and might have escaped Africa.
Doctors Are Worried
In previous outbreaks of Ebola, the deadly infection mostly remained confined to remote villages and small towns.
But this outbreak is different. This time, some cases of Ebola have occurred in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea.
The population of Conakry is 2 million. The city is also home to an international airport. These circumstances have scientists in the medical community especially concerned, particularly about the chances of the virus spreading outside of Africa.
The Ebola virus doesn’t spread easily. That’s the good news.
It takes direct contact with someone who is sick— specifically with his or her bodily fluids— to contract the disease, which is why the spread of the virus is often limited to family members of the infected and to healthcare workers.
The most dangerous time occurs during the weeks before the outbreak is positively identified and before precautions are put into place to prevent the spread.
But therein lies the bad news about Ebola – the incubation period is long, sometimes taking up to three weeks. That gives the infection plenty of time to spread before anyone can identify it.
During that time, the unknowingly infected may travel to other countries, carrying the virus with them. And that could lead to outbreaks of Ebola anywhere in the world.
This scenario is not at all far-fetched.
Actually, there was recent scare as close as Canada. One traveler left West Africa for his home country of Canada. Not long after arriving home, he became sick. Within days, he developed the symptoms of hemorrhagic fever, and Canadian officials believed for a time that had brought Ebola back with him.
His blood tests have since tested negative for the Ebola virus.
Breaking news reports this week suggest that the virus may have traveled to Italy. Reportedly, migrant workers from infected areas in Africa entered Italy by sea near Pisa. They were quarantined for Ebola-like symptoms. The first round of blood tests came back negative for the virus, but officials are concerned that the results may be false-negatives, due to the new strain that is currently active in Africa.
Both of these cases show just how easy it would be for the virus to reach anywhere in the world…
In the Event of the Unthinkable …
Officials at the CDC and in the Health Ministries of affected countries predict that the current Ebola outbreak will last for months.
If the unthinkable should happen… if an Ebola outbreak should reach our shores, it’s critical that you know how to protect yourself.
The first step to protecting yourself is learning to recognize the symptoms, particularly in anyone who has traveled to, or who has a close connection with someone who has been to West Africa recently.
Take extreme precaution if someone you know develops flu-like symptoms within three weeks of returning from West Africa, including:
- Muscle Pain
These are early signs of Ebola that are easily mistaken for more common illnesses.
For many, the disease progresses to include a rash, chest pain, respiratory distress, and internal and external bleeding.
If someone who has recently come from West Africa or who has had contact with such a traveler develops these symptoms, avoid them if possible. If it’s a family member, get them to a hospital immediately for treatment.
There’s no cure for Ebola, but medical treatment can improve the chances of surviving the illness.
The biggest difference between those who survive Ebola and those who succumb to the illness seems to be a fundament difference in immune response.
Your best defense, after prevention, is to make sure you have the strongest immune system you possibly can.
A healthy immune system is a product of healthy living.
- Eat wholesome foods including lots of vegetables and fruits and foods high in fiber
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly
- Move more. Exercising once a day isn’t enough for optimum health. You need to move around as part of your day. Stand up and stretch. Walk up and down the stairs. Do a few jumping jacks or squats. At least once an hour, try to move about
- Get enough rest
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress
- Support a strong immune system with supplements including vitamin D3, a probiotic, and a vitamin B complex
An Ebola outbreak near where you live is unlikely. But, as this recent outbreak shows, it’s not impossible.
Knowing what to look for and taking good care of your body are two of your best defenses against any disease, including Ebola.
P.S. Ebola is a rare disease, thankfully. Far more common and more likely to affect you are antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. These types of infections are rampant in hospitals and a growing problem in urban communities.
Hospitals are scrambling to find new defenses against these diseases. But you don’t have to wait for them to find answers. Learn about a proven defense against mutant bacteria that’s been available all along. Get the details here.