What Is Ebola And How Can You Get The Virus?

By Harris Walker
Updated January 2, 2015
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What Is Ebola And How Can You Get The Virus?With the recent news reports about the spread of the Ebola virus here in the United States there has been a great deal of confusion, which has led to panic in the minds and hearts of many people. This deadly disease has impacted everyone who has heard about it whether they are at risk or not. While it may be frightening to hear such reports, medical experts tell us that while contracting the disease can be a scary situation, the possibility of it actually happening is quite rare. Getting a better understanding of the nature of the Ebola virus is therefore essential.

What Is Ebola?

Ebola is a viral disease that can be very deadly. To date, scientists have discovered five different strains of the virus; four have the potential to make people sick and one that can remain inactive in the host without demonstrating any symptoms. The virus' goal is to get into a cell and over replicate to the point that the cell will actually explode sending millions of the replicated virus strands throughout the body. Eventually it will destroy the immune system leading to hemorrhagic fever that will quickly damage every organ in the body.

How Can You Get Ebola:

Everyone should be interested in learning about the Ebola virus so they can take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting the disease. While many stories abound about how people are exposed, the fact is that Ebola is more often than not passed on by person-to-person contact; passed on to one another through sharing of bodily fluids. These fluids could be blood, stool, or vomit, which are the most infectious. However, other body fluids like semen, urine, sweat, tears, and breast milk can also transmit the virus.

How You Can't Get Ebola:

As reports continue to circulate about the deadly advancement of this disease, many people are in a panic about how it is spread. Since you can't get the virus from an informal contact you can relax and join society once again. It's okay to sit next to someone on the plane without fear of losing your life. However, remember that kissing or sharing food can put you at risk through the saliva that could be passed on.

When a Victim Is Symptomatic:

Even if the virus has infected a person, he cannot pass it on to anyone until he becomes symptomatic. The first symptoms of the virus could occur 2 to 21 days after first exposure and will appear flu-like. A high fever will be evident at first followed by feeling tired and weak; muscle pains and headache will follow with a sore throat. The final stages of the disease will be projectile vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and bruising or bleeding from every orifice in the body. For those who don't recover, death normally follows.

Even after a patient has died from the virus, family members and medical professionals will still need to exercise extreme caution as the body can still transmit the disease if they come in direct contact with the fluids.

Since there is no approved treatment for Ebola, medical professionals can only help to manage the symptoms until the disease runs its course. The best way to protect yourself is by taking preventive measures. Once you've learned what the Ebola virus is, you'll know what you need to do to help control the spread of this horrific disease.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.