Friday, October 3, 2014

Here's How You Can (And Can't) Get Ebola

How you can get Ebola

1) You can get the virus if you have "direct contact" with a range of bodily fluids from a sick person, including blood, saliva, breast milk, stool, semen, tears, vomit, and urine. "Direct contact" means these fluids need to get into your broken skin (such as a wound) or touch your mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes, vagina).

2) So you can get Ebola by kissing or sharing food with someone who is infectious.

3) Mothers with Ebola can give the disease to their babies. Ebola spreads through breastfeeding — even after recovery from the disease. As one study put it, "It seems prudent to advise breastfeeding mothers who survive (Ebola) to avoid breastfeeding for at least some weeks after recovery and to provide them with alternative means of feeding their infants."

THE EBOLA VIRUS HAS BEEN ABLE TO LIVE IN SEMEN FOR UP TO 82 DAYS4) You can get Ebola through sex with an Ebola patient. The virus has been able to live in semen up to 82 days after a patient became symptomatic, which means sexual transmission — even with someone who has survived the disease for months — is possible.

5) You can get the virus by eating wild animals infected with Ebola or coming into contact with their bodily fluids. The fruit bat is believed to be the animal reservoir for Ebola, and when it's prepared for a meal or eaten raw, people get sick.

So you can get the virus through exposure to bat secretions. However, if you cook a bat infected with Ebola and then eat it, you won't get sick because the virus dies during cooking.

6) You can get Ebola through contact with an infected surface. Though Ebola is easily killed with disinfectants like bleach, if it isn't caught, it can live outside the body on, say, a doorknob or counter top, for several hours. In body fluids, like blood, the virus can survive for several days. So you'd need to touch an infected surface, and then put your hands in your mouth and eyes.

This is why the funerals of Ebola victims are problematic. Someone who has died from the virus will have a very high viral load. Since the virus can live in bodily fluids on their body, if you participate in the ritual washing of an Ebola victim and then touch your hands to your face, you could get the virus.

7) You could also get the virus by working in a biosafety-level-4 lab that studies Ebola, touching lab specimens, and then putting your contaminated hands in your mouth, eyes or a cut.

8) You can get Ebola by being pricked with a needle or syringe that has been contaminated with the virus. This has been a source of transmission for health workers, but unless you're sharing needles with Ebola victims, this isn't likely.

How you can't get Ebola

1) You can't get Ebola from someone who is not already sick. The virus only turns up in people's bodily fluids after a person starts to feel ill, and only then can they spread it to another person.

This is why health officials say they are not worried about the other passengers on the Texas patient's flight into the United States. At that time, the patient was asymptomatic and therefore not a risk to those around him.

YOU CAN'T GET EBOLA FROM MOSQUITOES2) You can't get Ebola from mosquitoes. The CDC says, "Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys and apes) have shown the ability to spread and become infected with Ebola virus."

3) You usually can't get Ebola through coughing or sneezing. The virus isn't airborne, thankfully, and experts expect that it will never become airborne. But, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "If a symptomatic patient with Ebola coughs or sneezes on someone, and saliva or mucus come into contact with that person's eyes, nose or mouth, these fluids may transmit the disease." This happens rarely and usually only affects health workers or those caring for the sick.



  1. Problem is, some of this info comes from the govt, which lies perpetually. Some doctors say the longer the virus is in humans the higher the chance it can be transmitted airborne. Plus, wasn't research done at one time to weaponize it in airborne delivery?
    I think it's darn scary.

  2. "This is why health officials say they are not worried about the other passengers on the Texas patient's flight into the United States. At that time, the patient was asymptomatic and therefore not a risk to those around him."

    "At that time, the patient was asymptomatic and therefore not a risk..." How so?

    This is problematic. Initial symptoms are flu-like. How long does it take a person to go from thinking they might have the flu to thinking they might have Ebola? Is the onset of symptoms readily noticeable? How many people might be in contact with an infected person between onset and manifestation of symptoms?

    According to Daily Mail, "Four days before he boarded a flight for the U.S., Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan carried an infected woman to a hospital in Liberia..."

    According to CDC, "Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days."

    Initial symptoms could have been manifesting while Duncan was on that plane. That plane went to Denver after Dallas. Keep an eye on Denver for the next 19 days...