Prevention efforts focus on avoiding contact with the viruses. The following precautions can help prevent infection and spread of Ebola and Marburg.
AVOID TRAVELLING TO AREAS OF KNOWN OUTBREAK.
Before traveling to Africa, find out about any current epidemics by checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY.
As with other infectious diseases, one of the most important preventive measures for Ebola virus and Marburg virus is frequent hand-washing. Use soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol when soap and water aren't available.
AVOID EATING BUSH MEAT.
In developing countries, wild animals, including nonhuman primates, are sold in local markets. Avoid buying or eating any of these animals.
AVOID CONTACT WITH INFECTED PEOPLE.
In particular, caregivers should avoid contact with the person's body fluids and tissues, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva. People with Ebola or Marburg are most contagious in the later stages of the disease.
FOLLOW INFECTION-CONTROL PROCEDURES.
If you're a health care worker, wear protective clothing — such as gloves, masks, gowns and eye shields. Keep infected people isolated from others. Carefully disinfect and dispose of needles and other instruments. Injection needles and syringes should not be reused.
DON'T HANDLE REMAINS.
The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg disease are still contagious. Specially organized and trained teams should bury the remains, using appropriate safety equipment.
Scientists are working on a variety of vaccines that would protect people from Ebola or Marburg viruses. Some of the results have been promising, but further testing is needed.
HOW DO YOU GET EBOLA?
You can get Ebola by coming into contact with the blood or body fluids of an animal or person who is infected.
People often get sick with Ebola when they care for or bury a person who has the disease. Someone also can catch the virus by touching contaminated needles or surfaces.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA?
Symptoms of the Ebola virus show up 2 to 21 days after someone is infected. As the virus spreads through the body's cells, it damages the immune system and organs. Ultimately, Ebola causes levels of blood-clotting cells, called platelets, to fall, which can lead to severe bleeding.
Many of the early symptoms of Ebola look like the flu or other mild illnesses. They include:
As the disease gets worse, people who are infected may develop:
Bleeding inside and outside of the body
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF SOMEONE HAS EBOLA?
Sometimes it's hard to tell if a person has Ebola from the symptoms alone.
Doctors may first test for other diseases that have the same symptoms as Ebola, such as:
Tests of the blood and tissues, such as the ELISA test, also can help diagnose Ebola.
If someone might have Ebola, they should be isolated from the public immediately to help prevent the spread of Ebola.
HOW IS EBOLA TREATED?
Right now there is no real treatment or cure for Ebola. Doctors try to manage people's symptoms by giving them:
Fluids and electrolytes through a vein
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT EBOLA?
There is no vaccine to prevent Ebola. People can avoid catching the disease by not traveling to areas where the virus is found.
Health care workers can prevent infection by wearing masks, gloves, and goggles whenever they come into contact with people who may have Ebola.
WHAT CAUSES AN EBOLA OUTBREAK?
Usually an outbreak starts when someone comes into contact with the body fluids or waste of infected animals, such as monkeys, chimps, or fruit bats. Once a person is infected, he or she can then spread it to others.
Note: THERE'S NO CURE YET FOR EBOLA
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