Following Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, which has taken several lives, Kenyans and Tanzanians should take the necessary precautions. In this post we outline what Ebola is, signs and symptoms, and safetmeasures, and how to handle suspected Ebola patients.
Let us start with the basics before discussing the safety measures.
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a deadly and dangerous disease that is caused by a virus. When the virus gets into the body, it causes severe bleeding and failure of the organs. The end result may be death.
How Can One Get Ebola?
Being a viral disease, Ebola is easily spread through contact with the human body fluids of an Ebola patient or one who’s died of Ebola.
Getting into contact with items touched by an infected Ebola patient, may also make one to contract Ebola.
What Human Body Fluids does the Ebola Virus Thrive In?
Here are the examples of the body fluids through which humans can contract the Ebola virus:
- Poo (Feaces)
- Pee (Urine)
What are the Common Signs and Symptoms of Ebola?
Ebola is characterized by the following symptoms an signs:
- Sore throat
- UnExplained bleeding
- Loss of appetite
- Pains in the abdomen, chest and joints
- Coughing up blood
- Eye redness
- Mental confusion
- Red spots on skin
What To Do If You Suspect One Has Ebola
When suspect a friend, relative, or just anyone has contracted the Ebola virus, kindly remember to do the following:
1. DO NOT TOUCH
2. ISOLATE THE SICK PERSON
3. CALL FOR HELP
The first and most important step is to choose one person from among the healthy ones who will help the suspected sick individual.
Do not touch at whatever cost, the person suspected to be infected. Also, don’t touch the things he/she has touched.
Kindly give them their own items for use such as clothes, eating utensils, blankets, and waste containers.
Isolate the sick person from interacting or mingling with other persons. This will help in containing any further spread of the disease.
After isolation of the suspected sick person, call for help. The call is to request for help to get the sick person to a health care facility for best care and medicine.
You should wait for an ambulance. Do not try to use a taxi, bicycle or motorbike. This will only facilitate the further spread of Ebola disease.
CAUTION: DO NOT TOUCH. Remember not to touch the patient or anything the patient has touched.
What Else Can You DO or NOT DO while Waiting for an Ambulance for Ebola Patient?
Do not face the sick person. Stay on their side or behind.
Keep everyone else far away from the patient. At least a meter or an arm-length is safe.
Do not touch the sick person’s items.
If you must touch the sick person, his/items, or their body fluids, be sure to protect yourself. Cover your head, nose, eyes, mouth, hands, and the front of your body.
CAUTION: Do not re-use gloves. Remove and dispose off any used gloves.
When putting food or pouring fluids onto the Ebola patient’s cup or plate, do it without touching, lifting or moving it.
How to Wash Hands When and After Dealing with Ebola Sick Person
Use soap and clean water to wash your hands for at least 20-30 seconds. The best and systematic way of washing the hands include:
- First, wet your hands with water
- Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.
- Rub the hands together and scrub everywhere,
- Wash the back and front of your hands and also in between the fingers
- Rinse the hands with plenty of water
- Finally, dry the hands completely using a single towel or dry air.
In the absence of water and soap, use chlorinated water or hand sanitizer.
Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) Can Help Save the Life of Ebola Patient
As soon as the Ebola signs and symptoms have started showing off on a patient, aadminister Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS).
The ORS should be given many times to the sick person so as to replenish the body with lost fluids and salts. It should be given both day and night.
Caution: When giving ORS, remember not to touch the patient, body fluids, or his/her items.
In a day, an adult may need 5 to 12 litres of ORS.
Giving ORS should be stopped if diarrhoea and vomiting stops.
How to Clean Body Fluids and Wastes of an Ebola Patient
If you must clean the sick person’s fluids or wastes, do the following;
- Cover your skin. Wear gloves.
- Put a dry towel or heavy clothe the mess
- Pour strong (5%) chlorine solution onto the towel.
- Wipe up the mess with the wet towel or clothe
- Then disinfect the area with chlorine solution using another different towel.
- For the waste, burn it.
Caution: Do not splash anything. Move slowly.
Although deadly, Ebola patients can be saved when taken to a health care facility in time.
It is also vital that everyone, whether teachers, parents, students and the general public, to be conversant with the early symptoms, and how to handle Ebola patients.
Let us spread widely this ininformation, you could save a life. Share this post with friends, colleagues, relatives, and everyone that you know.