RadioMD: The Dr. Leigh Vinocur Show

What are the real risks of Ebola to the public?

October 24, 20149 min
When and how can a person who is infected with Ebola give it to another person?Even though you might have been hearing that Ebola could be airborne, it can only be spread through bodily fluids. This includes (but is not limited to) spit/saliva, urine, vomit, semen, and/or feces. This also means you would have to touch the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick or has died from Ebola and have contact with your mouth, eyes, or nose in order for you to become infected. Sitting next to someone on the subway, an airplane or out in the street, you're not going to catch Ebola..However, when a patient is isolated in a hospital due to a potential risk of an Ebola infection, doctors, nurses and other medical stuff need to take a higher precaution by wearing hazmat suites. Since Ebola can cause tiny breaks in your skin due to the internal bleeding, if you're not wearing protective gear, it is possible that by touching an infected patient could drastically increase your risk of becoming infected.What are some of the symptoms associated with Ebola?Ebola symptoms include: fatigue, chills, body aches (8-10 days after exposure), chest pain, shortness of breath, redness of the eyes, bleeding under your skin (looks like bruising, dark rash), bleeding from your GI tract, gums and nose.Is your everyday life at risk?Patients with Ebola who did not know they had the virus and were flying on airplanes, traveling on public transportation and living their normal lives, none of those people they might have come in contact with are becoming infected. This is because the patient is not infectious at that point.Rade B. Vukmir, MD and David C. Pigott, MD discuss the symptoms of Ebola, and when and how Ebola can be transmitted.

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