Ebola: Facts versus myths

Ligia Perez and Jocelyn Martinez

Pardon the pun, but Ebola fever is spreading -but, is it really something to get paranoid about?

There are several cases of Ebola outside of West Africa . In the United States there are seven patients in recovery, one in treatment, and one dead. In Spain there are two recovered, two deaths, and one in treatment . In Germany, there is one in treatment, one recovered, and one death. Then there is Norway and Britain with only one case each of Ebola with both cases fully recovered.

Here’s what students think followed by the parts.

Q: What happens to a patient who is put in isolation?
“They are in pain, scared, all alone not knowing if they are going to die or not,” sophomore Alejandro Garcia said.

For the patient, it’s relatively simple. Since Ebola is transmitted through body fluids, all the patients need to be in a private room with a door closed. That’s enough. With some diseases,( like tuberculosis,measles,chicken pox), you need to modify the airflow in the room, and it’s more complicated. For Ebola, it’s not easy to transmit, so it’s just a room with a door closed, and everyone who comes and sees them has to take those precautions. The patient doesn’t have to do anything(just keep himself or herself isolated).

Q: How likely am I to contract Ebola?
“It’s more likely for me to get struck by lightning than to contract Ebola, because I’ll never get close to someone with Ebola,” sophomore Alfredo Ramos said.

You’re highly unlikely to contract Ebola unless you’ve been in direct contact with an infected person while he or she is exhibiting symptoms. Health care workers of patients in advanced stages of the disease are at the highest risk of contracting Ebola. Ebola is not easily spread during the early phases of the disease, when patients are still healthy enough to walk around.

Q: Where did Ebola come from?
“Africa, that’s what the news said,” sophomore Maria Agredano said.

No one really knows where it all started.

Q: What are the symptoms to Ebola in Incubation period?
“”Fever, I just know it’s fever. I heard it on the news that this little boy had it in O’hare,” sophomore Cecilia Zacarias said.

Symptoms of Ebola virus disease may vary. The incubation period, (that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms) is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, similar to to the flu!

Q: Does the Ebola virus stay in the body after a patient has recovered?
“It probably does, but I’m no medic, so I don’t know, but yea, maybe it does,” sophomore Jazmin Castro said.

Ebola, generally does not stay in the body after a patient has fully recovered but Ebola has been found in semen and breast milk for longer periods of times. Persons who are recovered need to take some additional steps so that others are not exposed to these fluids.

Q: If a person survives Ebola virus, are they immune to it?
“It depends, I guess. No, you dead! Just kidding, yes,” sophomore Catherine Martinez said.

Evidence shows that people who recover from Ebola develop antibodies that would likely protect them from the same strain for about ten years or longer.

All in all, stop the panic. Stay informed.