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Ebola Virus

How to Avoid Infection?

 

Avoid contact with Ebola patients and their bodily fluids, the WHO advises. Do not touch anything – such as shared towels – which could have become contaminated in a public place.

Careers should wear gloves and protective equipment, such as masks, and wash their hands regularly.

The WHO also warns against consuming raw bush meat and any contact with infected bats or monkeys and apes. Experts advise people to stop having sex, in addition to existing advice not to shake hands or kiss. The WHO says men can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to seven weeks after recovering from Ebola.

Health workers themselves are becoming scared of treating patients, and are demanding better protective clothing when exposed to patients. When cases of the disease do appear, risk of transmission is increased within healthcare settings. Therefore, health care workers must be able to recognize a case of Ebola and be ready to use practical viral hemorrhagic fever isolation precautions or barrier nursing techniques. They should also have the capability to request diagnostic tests or prepare samples for shipping and testing elsewhere.

Barrier nursing techniques include wearing of protective clothing (such as masks, gloves, gowns, and goggles), using infection-control measures (such as complete equipment sterilization and routine use of disinfectant), isolating patients with Ebola from contact with unprotected persons and the aim of all of these techniques is to avoid contact with the blood or secretions of an infected patient. If a patient with Ebola dies, direct contact with the body of the deceased patient should be avoided.

There is no known cure. Existing medicines that fight viruses (antivirals) do not work well against Ebola virus. The patient is usually hospitalized and will most likely need intensive care. Supportive measures for shock include medications and fluids given through vein. Bleeding problems may require transfusions of platelets or fresh blood. As many as 90% of patients die from the disease. Patients usually die from lower blood pressure (shock) rather than from blood loss.

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