After posting the article Ebola, Take the Quiz, Rest Easy, I received many questions that I felt were very important. And as it is, the news media is doing a very poor job of answering them. Let me tell you, there is a lot of conflicting data on Ebola out there. Even the CDC and WHO websites conflict with each other on some items. I looked over many sites and gathered what is out there combining it with some good old common sense into one source. I hope that it will answer the questions on Ebola and how it can apply to you.
Q. Can Ebola be spread by coughing or sneezing like the flu?
A. To begin lets be cautious when comparing something we are very familiar with (the Flu) to something we have no experience with (Ebola).
Ebola is unlike respiratory illnesses like the flu or measles, that can be transmitted through the air by a cough or sneeze of an infected person. Coughs or sneezes are not common symptoms of Ebola, which is usually spread by direct contact with body fluids of a person displaying symptoms of Ebola disease.
If a person that was displaying symptoms of Ebola did happen to sneeze or cough on someone and saliva or some other body fliud did come in contact with that person’s eyes, nose, mouth or open wound, these fluids could in fact transmit the disease.
Q. What does “contact with body fluids” really mean? Can Ebola be transferred from a doorknob that an person infected with Ebola touched if they had saliva, urine or other bodily fluids on their hands?
A. Here is the definition of “contact with body fluids” from the CDC website. “Direct contact means that body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.”
We are very used to this question when dealing with passing the flu and colds. We are told to wash our hands after being out in public. Someone could sneeze in public and not having something handy to wipe their nose, use their hand and shortly after that touch a doorknob or shopping cart.
In theory Ebola could be transferred from contact with contaminated surfaces, but it is not very likely from what studies have been done. From all that I have read, Ebola is only contagious when symptoms are showing, ie. coughing, sneezing, vomiting. etc. And Ebola does not usually invade the lungs at first as the flu or cold would, as this typically happens at a later stage. By the time Ebola started affecting the lungs of a person they would be too deathly sick to be out in public, it is just not very likely for them to be on the bus, taxi or at the store. Right!?
Ok, lets say someone infected with Ebola with symptoms being displayed does go to the store somehow. The CDC states that there is “no epidemiological evidence: for transmission from hospital surfaces according to their study. That is great news, but it gets better. Another study in 2000 in an active Ebola ward in Uganda, the surfaces that confirmed Ebola patients contacted were swabbed to gain samples to see if Ebola could be spread from common surface contact. Surfaces tested included food bowls, bed frames, and other surfaces the patient would touch. None of the surfaces touched tested positive for Ebola.
Q. Can Ebola be transferred before symptoms show?
A. NO, the Ebola virus is not communicable till after symptoms show. After symptoms show (anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure), fever (101.5+), severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal stomach pain, and bleeding, the virus is highly communicable.
Q. How are people getting infected with Ebola and where are they?
A. Currently the people getting infected with Ebola are mostly in the African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Currently around 4,000 people have died. These countries do not have adequate medical facilities to handle the amount of people getting sick with Ebola, so there is a high mortality rate once the disease is contracted.
An additional factor is that confirming one has Ebola early in the disease’s cycle is impossible until usually 3 days after symptoms start to develop. This is why reports are being made that often people who may have contracted the Ebola virus are staying home till the symptoms are fully active. This is when the virus is most contagious, easily infecting other family members. Then these Ebola infected people are taken to the hospital, where it becomes a waiting game to see if they will live or die while provided very basic medical care if any.
In a nutshell it currently appears that Ebola is a disease based in some African nations that do not have the ability to widely educate their public about the facts on Ebola, transmission and symptoms. The handful of cases that have popped up outside of Africa originated in Africa and are mostly people that have been taken back home for treatment after discovering they have Ebola.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Education is the most important step you can take in understanding Ebola. Now that we have covered the basic questions about Ebola you should have a very good understanding that you can only get Ebola if you come in contact with someone’s body fluids who has Ebola and is displaying symptoms, it does not just drop out of the air.
As with any virus, people that have a weaker immune system stand a greater chance of becoming infected. Make sure to eat a healthy balanced diet, avoid stress, and get enough sleep. I would suggest reading “How to Avoid Fall, Winter Colds & Flu with Food” to learn more about immune boosting.
Foods That Can Help Everyone
Foods that are rich in enzymes, minerals, vitamins and nutrition can help build the body. These foods can supply needed nutrients which can help build the immune system and the entire body. What are they? How about foods that are not commercially processed such as lacto-fermented foods.
Lacto-fermented foods give the body great amounts of natural enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. And what about all the great probiotics these foods contain that can help build the gut and strengthen the immune system. I can’t say enough about how great for you lacto-fermented foods can be, how about reading 7 Reasons I Will Never Stop Eating Fermented Foods, for more info. Do visit our store for our Lacto-fermenting eCourse, Cookbooks, and hardware needed to get started.
Sourdough is another great food that can help the body. There are various studies that show authentic sourdough contains natural acids that help fight candida, along with other yeasts and molds. Add to the fact that sourdough, if prepared correctly, is naturally about gluten-free. There are great nutrients and vitamins that are unlocked for the body during the sourdough process. Do visit our store for the Sourdough eCourse, Cookbooks, and hardware to make sourdough baking at home a breeze.
If you have additional questions leave a comment below and I will do my best to help you find an answer.