The outbreak of Ebola has brought the attention of everyone across the globe. This virus that causes a hemorrhagic fever has claimed hundreds and thousands of lives all over the world, especially in Africa, where it first started. A lot is being talked and written about the disease. But is everything what we hear true?
After extensive research and talking to a lot of doctors and scientists, I have put together a list of myths and facts about the disease.
- Ebola is transmitted by mosquitoes: False
Mosquitoes are no doubt deadly in their own way by transmitting other serious diseases like malaria and dengue. But Ebola has been known to originate from mammals such as chimps, apes and even antelopes.
- Food and drink from Africa are not safe to be consumed: False
Ebola is in the first place not transmitted through food and drink. If it has to come through food and drink, the person suffering from Ebola has to have spread it through his saliva or mucus or any other discharge from the body, which is not the case in case of imported food.
- House pets like cats and dogs spread Ebola: False
Till date there has been no case of house pets spreading Ebola. So don’t worry about your house pets or others pets too.
- Household bleach and other cleaning agents kill Ebola: True
Keep your home safe from Ebola, by cleaning it using bleach and other cleaning agents that kill the Ebola virus.
- If you’re feeling sick it’s Ebola: False
Think with positive mindset. When you fall ill and maybe suffer from symptoms similar to those of Ebola, be cautious, but do not upfront assume and jump to the conclusion that you have Ebola. Unless you have been in direct contact with those suffering with Ebola, your chances of catching the virus are relatively low.
- Ebola is airborne: False
Ebola is a respirator disease. As a matter of fact, Ebola does not spread by simply being in contact with that person suffering from Ebola. That person has to sneeze and spray mucus or the sneeze water droplets for it to spread.
- Ebola can be spread even if patient doesn’t exhibit symptoms: False
Ebola can spread only when symptoms develop. The symptoms usually include sneezing and coughing through which the virus is spread.
So if you come in contact with a person who does not exhibit symptoms, you need not worry about catching it.
- You can get Ebola by touching an infected person: False
You cannot get Ebola by simply hugging or shaking an Ebola patient’s hand. Let me repeat that Ebola is spread only by the direct contact of the body fluids of the sick person such as saliva, urine, semen, sweat, breast milk, vomit and feces.
- You’ll get it from people who travelled to Ebola-hit countries: False
Not everyone who has visited these countries has come in contact with Ebola sick people. And even if they have, they might not have even caught the infection.
If they suspect coming in contact, they are handed CARE (Care and Report Ebola) to help monitor any symptoms. Along with self-monitoring they will also be required to take daily checkups by public health care officials.
Written by: Rasha Ashraf