Fears about the Ebola outbreak have been escalating over the past few weeks, ever since a Dallas doctor tested positive for the virus. Below are 7 facts that you need to know about the Ebola outbreak in order to protect your and your family’s health.
- At least 17 Ebola cases have been treated outside of West Africa in the current outbreak, according to the New York Times, including two Dallas hospital workers who have tested positive for Ebola. Most of these involve health and aid workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa and were transported back to their home country for treatment.
- Ebola spreads through direct contact with body fluids, such as blood, vomit, saliva, mucus, urine, and other bodily fluids. For instance, if an infected person’s blood or vomit gets in another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus may be transmitted. Similarly, if an infected person coughs on someone, he or she could infect a person if saliva is sprayed.
- Because the Ebola virus can survive for several hours on surfaces, any object contaminated with bodily fluids may also spread the disease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus can survive for a few hours on dry surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops, and for several days on wet surfaces, such as puddles or other collections of bodily fluid.
- The Ebola virus can be killed with bleach.
- According to the New York Times, most new cases are occurring among people who have been taking care of sick relatives or who have prepared an infected body for burial. Because health care workers are at high risk for the infection, they need to be extra vigilant about maintaining a sterile environment.
- If a person is infected with the Ebola virus, he or she will likely experience symptoms within about eight to 10 days after exposure to the virus, but symptoms can appear as late as 21 days after exposure, according to the CDC. The infection first shows symptoms similar to the flu, such as a headache, fever, and aches and pains. A rash may also appear, followed by diarrhea and vomiting.
- Although there are currently no drugs or vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat or prevent Ebola, an experimental drug called ZMapp might help infected patients although the drug is unproven and is no longer available. The FDA plans to fast-track development of a vaccine shown to protect monkeys, but whether it will be effective in humans remains to be seen. Due to the lack of medications, the only treatment that doctors and nurses can provide is the use of fluids and medicines to maintain blood pressure and treat other infections. According to the New York Times, in past outbreaks, the virus has been fatal in 60 percent to 90 percent of cases.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to patient safety and helping the victims of medical malpractice obtain full and fair financial recovery for their injuries. If you have questions about the Ebola virus, contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to speak with one of our medical malpractice lawyers. Additional Information:
- 10 Facts about Medical Malpractice
- What to Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice
- The Dangers of Unsterile Surgical Instruments and Other Surgical Errors
Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.