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The Bird’s Nest By Robin Carter

A Quiet Storm

While rapidly sweeping through different countries leaving people seriously ill yet killing tens of thousands of them throughout the nation some questions still remain. Though it is not clear how it gains access to large populations it is believed that an animal vector is the host. Statistics say it is possible that handling an animal, being bitten by it or eating it will transmit this deadly virus to the human population.

In 1976, a virus was identified by researchers and yet there have been more than 20 outbreaks of it in Central Africa according to (CDC) Centers for Disease Control. The March 2014 outbreak is the first to occur in West Africa and has become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976 (World News on Africa). This disease is known as Ebola. It is reported that currently the epidemic sweeping across the regions has now killed more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined. Up to March 18, 2015, more that 10,000 people had been reported as having died from the disease in six countries: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra, Leone, Nigeria, the United States and Mali. The total number of reported cases is said to be more than 24,000. The World Health Organization raises fear that these numbers may be underestimated due to the difficulty collecting data. The most disturbing thing about this disease though is that it has a patent number. Having a patent number gives one the exclusionary right to prevent others from making, using or selling their invention, so why does a disease need a patent number? Hmmm is all that I can say about that.

If a person has the virus it can be passed from that person to others through contact with the infected person’s bodily fluids and secretions. The virus can enter the body of an uninfected person through the mucous membranes or skin abrasions. It is also stated that it appears to be present in other body fluids such as, blood, saliva and tears. Some studies suggest that Ebola may be transmissible through sweat, vomit and feces of an infected person. When this person is severely ill, the risk of transmission is greater because the amount of virus in the body and body fluids are extremely high at the time. Unlike influenza or other airborne diseases, research so far supports the belief that Ebola is not transmitted through air.

While Experts are learning more about how to contain the virus the fear of catching the disease is rising. Ebola is spread by direct contact with contaminated body fluids. Medical facilities have properly trained their staff on how to react in case they receive someone who has traveled outside of the United States recently or have been near a person or person’s remains who had the disease. Knowing the proper questions to ask patients and how to react to them is crucial. It is to make sure they get the proper treatment/care they need and deserve in addition to protecting the medical care providers as well. In case someone with this disease has to be treated, medical staff needs to be prepared. The virus can’t breach protective gear, such as gloves (doubled), mask/face shield, respirator, a waterproof apron, a full body suit and tough rubber boots, but making sure they have access to this state-of-the-art kit is important. A designated “buddy” helper is utilized to help remove the kit and is yet sprayed with chlorine as this happens. Adequate sterilization and proper clean-up is necessary. So be wise and be safe. Protect yourself and others from widely spread diseases. Hopefully this storm will subside or be terminated all together very soon. Until then, beware of the quiet storm.