The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has created discord among U.S. and World governing bodies and health organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the White House, as conflicting reports of the facts on how the virus is transmitted are being raised. Previously, two U.S. patients volunteering to assist with the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa have contracted the virus, and were flown back to the U.S. for treatment. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nurse Nancy Writebol were volunteering at a missionary clinic outside of the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Both Writebol and Dr. Brantly were treated in the U.S. using an experimental drug, Zmapp. The drug was still in the clinical testing stage, and had never been tested before on humans. Both have since recovered.
Thomas Eric Duncan flew to Dallas, Texas from Western Africa, and soon after presented himself at the Emergency Room of Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas with flu-like symptoms. He was evaluated and reportedly sent home with a fever of 103 degrees. He returned several days later, his symptoms worsening. It was determined he indeed had the Ebola virus. He later died from the virus, after visiting family and friends. These unfortunate persons who came in direct contact with him have been quarantined. Two nurses assigned with caring for Duncan have since developed the disease and are being treated.
Duncan did not receive the experimental drug Zmapp. The available stockpile of this drug had been exhausted to treat previous patients. Additionally, he did not receive a blood transfusion from Dr. Brantly as some others did, because his blood type did not match that of Dr. Brantly.
The virus that causes Ebola is a very serious illness and is fatal in 50 percent of all persons who are infected with the virus. It is an acute onset disease, with a two-week gestation period, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The official Ebola transmission facts as provided by the different available health organizations, and the White House may contradict each other. Breeding discord between the CDC, The WHO and the White House is not something that should be undertaken. On the contrary, lock step statements should be exemplified.
As described by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola virus finds its origins in the bodily fluids of infected animals, spread to them by fruit bats. These animals include primates such as chimpanzees, monkeys and gorillas. Additionally several other animals such as antelope and porcupines have also been infected by fruit bats, which are said to be the most natural of the deadly virus hosts. Once one of these animals is bitten by the offending fruit bat it develops the virus. It is transmitted at this point to humans very simply as a food source, when these animals are butchered for their meat, and then eaten. Any contact with the blood, bodily fluids and secretions or other harvested organs and meat from these infected animals will spread the virus directly.
Human to human transmission is much the same. Direct contact with any bodily fluids of infected patients, including but not limited to, sweat, blood, vomit, and diarrhea are to be avoided at all costs. One only has to watch the TV news to see how healthcare professionals dress in containment suits when dealing with these unfortunate patients.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia (CDC), there are more than a few ways to spread the disease between humans. Direct contact with an open wound like a cut or a lesion, directly through body fluids or blood, and including but not limited to urine and sweat, vomit, breast milk, semen and saliva. Additionally anything that may have become contaminated with regards to rendering aid to an ill patient also needs to be avoided. This may include gowns and gloves, facial masks, needles and syringes as well as footwear and eyewear.
Further, the CDC informs the general public that while it may appear that the virus can be spread through the air or by water or even food, this is highly unlikely in the United States. It has not been determined if this protocol applies to the transmission of the virus in Africa, as they follow a different agenda for food intake in Africa.
One important point to note, the CDC does indicate that there is no evidence whatsoever that Ebola can be spread by mosquitoes or insects of any kind, at all. Currently, mammals are the only life form on our planet that have become infected with the virus. Only mammals can also spread the Ebola virus.
The White House has also issued several conflicting reports about the ways of which the Ebola virus can be transmitted between human beings. They appear to be in lockstep with the CDC and the WHO on the transmission facts, but a most recent video issued by the White House that was relayed directly to the people of Africa appears to contradict statements made to the U.S. population. That video can be viewed in this article.
There is also a report out indicating that Ebola can be spread through the air. This report was first published in 2012, the results of which have been dismissed as inconclusive. Researching all available data on this deadly disease is very important.
The discord created between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Government about the transmission of the Ebola virus is evident. Preventing the spread of this disease is imperative.
By Jim Donahue