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Posted by blackstarlions on April 9, 2014 at 4:20 PM

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Ebola Virus Alert

Those of us who live in West Africa may have a bit of fear about the virus and the reports that are coming out. If we ourselves are not concerned, we may have loved ones overseas who would be concerned about the march of Ebola. So many deaths in Guinea, some in Gambia, some now in Liberia. Where will it move next?

While some people don’t believe that the virus really exists,  others will still be scared and worried.  Whether you believe in this outbreak or not, or believe in the virus or not, there are some good guidelines to be aware of and use to communicate with family and friends.

The first thing that is always a concern would be – Who is likely to contact this disease? From reports given on the BBC, the most vulnerable and at risk populations are health workers, immediate family living with the individual, those who have contact with the dead body or body as it’s dying (morticians etc) and those who may go to funerals. That doesn’t mean your funeral days are over, but maybe try to find out what the person died of before going. OR don’t attempt to interact with the body or family of the body!!!

Another factor to consider – this virus is not air borne and will not spread from casual contact.  Contact with body fluids, which include blood, semen, vomit, urine and stool would have greater tendency to spread this disease. AS with HIV/AIDS universal precautions are in order. That means consider any ill person to be infected. As with any other illness, the first line of defence is HAND WASHING. If you shake someone’s hand, exchange money, cough into your hand, etc.,  make sure to wash your hands before putting them to your face, mouth and other body openings. And certainly wash your hands before you eat.

Another doctor interviewed on the BBC was stating that many people who were infected were cured, which means you DON’T HAVE TO DIE if you do get infected. Some common sensical things to consider:

  • As with many other illnesses, keep well hydrated! You should be drinking between three and four liters of fluid every day. Lots of water, fresh juices and herbal teas. Caffeinated drinks and alcohol are not considered hydrating drinks.
  • Eat well nourishing foods – keep your immune system healthy and functioning well. Fresh foods, vegetables and fruits also boost the immune system as well as provide enzymes that could potentially kill invading viruses.
  • Get plenty of rest. Rest helps the body repair from the stresses of the day, as well as repair any damaged tissues – even if micro  - repairs……
  • Viruses are not bacteria and so antibiotics do not work. They only help to avoid a secondary bacterial infection. If you get ill and suspect this virus, ask your doctor for antivirals.

If you will be travelling to West Africa use these simple guidelines and continue to follow the prescribed health guidelines given – malaria preventives, recommended vaccinations and sanitary eating/drinking advice.

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