Are you feeling a little tickle in your throat? Maybe you have a fever. Haven’t been able to keep down that chicken pesto sandwich (mmmm, delicious)? Are your eyes bleeding? If so, then you probably have Ebola. Juuuuust kidding…or am I?
With the recent BIGGEST EVER outbreak of Ebola in Africa, and the news that two American doctors have contracted Ebola and been flown stateside to be treated, this deadly, little parasite of a hemorrhagic fever is slowly doing its very best to make us very, very scared.
Here at MOGT we care about our readers (or at least most of you – you know who you are), and as such, we thought we would try to shed some light on this weird – and quite deadly disease – in order to maybe save your life (and if we actually succeed, you owe us. I mean it. Seriously, you owe us BIG TIME.) That said, we are not doctors, and in no way is this health advice – we are just a bunch of monkeys with typewriters who just happen to be semi-literate and have access to the internet. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please contact your physician or emergency ASAP. Anyways, on to the important stuff.
1. In case you were just sitting there and saying to yourself: “Hey, MOGT guys, when was Ebola discovered and how does it get its name?” Well, dear friend, we have an answer. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the Ebola River (hence the name).
2. “But how might I get infected” you ask. Well, according to the good folks at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta (btw, isn’t that where the whole Walking Dead thing started? hmmmm…spooky) the disease can be spread in the following ways (although the CDC site isn’t particularly convincing as to whether these are the ONLY ways it can happen):
- direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person
- exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected secretions (www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola).
3. “So, what if I’m just sitting there, eating a delicious burrito from Del Taco and all of a sudden I have stomach pains and I’m frantically looking for the bathroom: does that mean I have Ebola?” Well, unless you’ve recently been to, or have come in direct contact with someone from the following countries, then it’s probably just salmonella caused by unwashed lettuce (just kidding Del Taco, you’d never hurt your customers:
- Sierra Leone
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
- South Sudan
- Ivory Coast
- Republic of the Congo (ROC)
- South Africa (imported) www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/index.html
In addition to that, here’s a list of symptoms one might experience if he is infected:
Symptoms of Ebola HF typically include:
- Joint and muscle aches
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
Some patients may experience:
- A Rash
- Red Eyes
- Sore throat
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bleeding inside and outside of the body
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common. (www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html)
4. “So, if I’m infected, do they like chop off my arm or something before I turn into a zombie?” Well, not quite. Although the effects of the disease are not very pleasant, it can be managed through treatment if caught very early on. That said, In Africa, the fatality rate numbers have been as high as 90%, but that number appears to vary with availability of treatment options. Currently, there are experimental treatments that are being administered to the doctors who are staying stateside. Based on some preliminary accounts, the treatments are having a positive affect. But it’s probably too soon to celebrate finding of a cure. (www.cnn.com)
To sum it up (mainly because my editors are calling), chances of you getting Ebola in US are very super slim to none. That said, if you’ve been in close contact with someone from the affected countries and you are experiencing some or many of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should contact your physician immediately. According to the CDC, symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to ebolavirus though 8-10 days is most common. (www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html). For further information on the disease, and for updates on treatments available, please visit the www.cdc.gov Here at MOGT, we sincerely wish you an Ebola-free summer!
Categories: Pull Your Head Out... A PSA