Wellness Matters

Can Ebola Affect Me and My Family?

October 15, 2014

Cynthia Snider, MD
By: Cynthia Snider, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist 
Regional Center for Infectious Disease 

With more than 8,500 Ebola cases in West Africa and the third U.S. transmission of Ebola this week, this viral outbreak is at the top of many minds.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a viral disease sometimes associated with unexplained bleeding.

How does Ebola spread?
The Ebola virus is not an airborne disease. It is transmitted through direct contact through broken skin or mucous membranes with blood, secretions, or other bodily fluids of infected people.

It can also be spread indirectly through contact with environments contaminated with such fluids.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever (greater than 101.5)
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained bleeding/bruising
Am I safe in my local hospital?

Cone Health hospitals, outpatient facilities and physician practices started planning for Ebola in late July as the outbreak spread in West Africa.

Like most hospitals, Cone Health has the capacity to care for a patient suspected of having Ebola, including the isolation room, personal protective equipment such as gowns, gloves, mask, and eye wear.

Cone Health has developed a strict protocol called the "Three Is for Ebola," which include:

  1. Identify: patients who traveled from West Africa in the last 21 days and has the Ebola symptoms.
  2. Isolate: place the patient on Droplet/Contact precautions, which means all persons coming in contact with the patient would be required to wear personal protective equipment, and the patient would be placed in a private room.
  3. Call Infection Prevention: for additional instructions and notify the facility's administrative coordinator.
With awareness and diligent infection prevention measure, lives can be saved and the health care worker can be safe.

For more information on Ebola go to the Cone Health website.


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