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Will bathing with SALTED Water protect you from Ebola? 5 Myths vs Facts about The Ebola Virus

This is the largest outbreak of Ebola in history, but it isn’t the first.

The Ebola virus was first diagnosed in humans in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when it infected 318 people. And most recently, 57 people in 2012, according to WHO.

A team of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) have been accused by some of bringing the virus into Guinée Forestière, where they were working, and temporarily had to stop working because of it.

As of Aug. 4, 2014, the most recent count available, Ebola virus has infected 1,711 people and killed 932 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the virus emerged again this year.

Myth 1: Ebola virus is airborne, waterborne or spreads through casual contact.

Fact: Ebola virus in fluids like blood, sweat or urine has to come in contact with your eyes, mouth, nostrils, ears, genital area or an open wound in order to infect you – not just casual contact.

Myth 2: Even if you beat Ebola, you can still pass on the virus to others.

Fact: Usually, only people who are exhibiting Ebola symptoms can pass the virus on to others.

A person with symptoms, like fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, can pass the virus on to others.

However, the World Health Organization notes that a man who has had Ebola can transmit the virus via his semen for up to 7 weeks after they’ve recovered from the disease.

Myth 3: Ebola can be treated with antibiotics (or onions, or condensed milk, or…)

Fact: Antibiotics cure bacterial infections, not viral infections.

There is neither certified cure nor vaccine for the virus.

There is an experimental serum called ZMapp, which contains antibodies designed to help block the virus. Before the 2014 Ebola outbreak, it had only ever been tested on monkeys and has not been approved for human use.

Myth 4: Ebola liquifies your organs, which causes bleeding from the orifices.

Fact: While Ebola symptoms can include bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, those things only happen in about 20 percent of cases.

The body’s organs are not liquified.

However, when people die from Ebola, it’s usually because the virus causes multi-organ failure and shock. This occurs because Ebola virus weakens blood vessels, causing internal and sometimes external bleeding. The virus also prevents the body from clotting blood effectively, which would help to stop the bleeding.


What is Ebola virus disease?

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90 per cent.The illness affects humans as well as primates, including monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees.

How do people become infected with the virus?

Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.

In Africa infection in humans has happened as a result of contact with chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead in the rainforest.

Once a person becomes infected, the virus can spread through contact with a sufferer’s blood, urine, saliva, stools and semen. A person can also become infected if broken skin comes into contact with a victim’s soiled clothing, bed linen or used needles.

Men who have recovered from the disease, can still spread the virus to their partner through their semen for seven weeks after recovery.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease, with a death rate of up to 90 per cent

Who is most at risk?

Those at risk during an outbreak include:

  • health workers
  • family members or others in close contact with infected people
  • mourners with direct contact with the bodies of deceased victims
  • hunters in contact with dead animals

What are the typical signs and symptoms?

Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness,  muscle pain, headache and sore throat. That is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding.

The incubation period is bet ween two and 21 days. A person will become contagious once they start to show symptoms.

When should you seek medical care?

If a person is in an area affected by the outbreak, or has been in contact with a person known or suspected to have Ebola, they should seek medical help immediately.

What is the treatment?

Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. They need intravenous fluids to rehydrate them.

But there is currently no specific treatment for the disease. Some patients will recover with the appropriate care.

Can Ebola be prevented?

Currently there is no licensed vaccine for Ebola. Several are being tested but are not available for clinical use.

Is it safe to travel to affected areas?

The World Health Organisation reviews the public health situation regularly, and recommends travel or trade restrictions if necessary. The risk of infection for travellers is very low since person-to-person transmission results from direct contact with bodily fluids of victims.

So Will bathing with SALTED Water protect you from Ebola? Hint: No!

(References: Huffington Post & World Health Organisation)

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