Ebola Health and Safety
The uncontrollable outbreak of the Ebola virus has been a near global disaster. The virus has had adverse impact on how governments run and how the international system runs as well. The virus has been epitomized by thorough medical check ups at the entry points of international air ports. To worse extents, come governments entities have been compelled to ban and reschedule flights to particular destinations. In addition, the extent and nature of the spread of the virus has forced governments to carry out sensitization campaigns on preventive measures to avoid further spread of the virus. In some states, this virus has resulted to the development of new health and safety procedures due to the unusual features of this unusual biological hazard. The aim of this paper is to describe the new safety procedures put in place against the spread of Ebola as well as other relevant information concerning this particular virus.
Traditionally, the Ebola virus affected a particular geographical region of the world, that is, Africa. However, the level of response to curb its spread has also seen medical practitioners contracting the deadly virus. International humanitarian efforts has also for the first time witnessed the disease diagnosed in within the territory of the United States and parts of Europe. This has thus triggered calls for new safety measures in this particular nation states that Ebola is strange to. Concisely, therefore, what is Ebola? As part of the safety procedures, health practioners within the United States have had to engage the public in terms of sensitization campains from the basics. Ebola thus refers to a particular virus. Ebola is a communicable disease that is spread from an infected patient to a non infected person via the the human body fluids (Nall, 2014, n.p). These body fluids that may be exchanged take the forms of vomit, blood and diarrhea among others. It is rational to point out that, these particular fluids also become highly communicable in the the late phases of the virus. The presence of body fluids are therefore a fundamental requirement for the spread of this virus. For instance, a health practioner may clean the body of an infected person with water alone; chances are that the health practitioner may not contact the deadly virus. However, they may contact the virus as a result of being in contact with broken parts of the skin as well as the patients open body parts of the nose, the mouth as well as the skin.
The deadly virus is also associated with a number of symptoms. These symptoms are usually observable within as little as seven days and may take up to three weeks to become full blown in nature (Smith, 2009, p.36). It is important to point out that the signs and symptoms of this virus are similar to those of flu. By this very nature, this makes the diagnosis of the virus complex and difficult. Some of the symptoms of an Ebola infected person include;
Frequent and perpetual headaches
The emergence of a sore throat
Extreme cases of muscle weakness
Aching muscles as well as aching joints (CDC, 2014, n.p).
These symptoms are characteristic of general flu, malaria and fever. However, it is the growth and evolution of these symptoms that make it unique to Ebola. This means that a patient may exhibit the following signs after a certain period of time. These include; frequent stomach aches associated with high levels of diarrhea and vomiting. The Ebola patient may also exhibit rashes as well as feelings of general nausea. In addition to these symptoms, thorough medical examination may show internal bleeding as a result of a breakdown of the kidney as well as the liver organs. The patient may also bleed from body openings of the mouth, the nose, the ears as well as the eyes. To manage the spread of the virus, those who show the above signs and symptoms are usually quarantined or put in isolation units of hospitals where they are also thoroughly medically examined.
Today, medical experts are involved in scientific research to find out the Ebola vaccine as there is no treatment or vaccine that is fully endorsed and licensed by the professional medical bodies (Disasters & Disorders, 2007, p.330). Therefore, the only way to fight against the spread of Ebola by the health and safety practitioners is by knowing the signs and symptoms as well as the safety prevention techniques. After all, it is ration to give credence to the dictum “Prevention is better than cure”. Therefore, today, health and safety practitioners universally recommend the following approaches as being rational to the prevention of the spread of the deadly virus;
In general, the basic prevention procedures include, avoiding getting in touch with human bodily fluids. It is advisable that, non patients should avoid any close contact with suspected cases. These floods are saliva, blood, vomit as well as urine. In addition to this, the non infected persons are also advised to keep away from the direct touch of the remains of those who have passed on as a result of Ebola as well as unknown diseases mad illnesses.
Both the health care workers as well as the non health care workers are required to avoid contact with medical equipment that may have been used in the treatment of an Ebola contaminated body. Therefore, once used, the injections and needles should be disposed of using the standard and required procedures.
Health practioners also ought to practice the control standards of the infection. The implication is that at all time, whenever dealing with the real as well as the suspect cases, they should adhere to personal as well as protective equipment. These include wearing; protective gowns, protective goggles, masks as well as protective gloves to avoid direct contact with the infected body.
Prior the disposal of used medical equipment in the forms of needles, syringes and thermometers; health practitioners should always disinfect the equipment. In addition, the health workers should also pass through a disinfection room after dealing with real and suspect Ebola cases.
Since the Ebola virus can be spread by wild animals as well as wild meat. Universal health and safety practitioners advise the society in general to avoid the potential carriers of the disease in general. This includes avoiding both the living as well as the dead carries. The wild animals to avoid contact with are members predominant of the primate family; Monkeys, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Pigs, Porcupines, forest antelopes as well as fruit bats.
The other safety prevention procedure revolves within and around giving recognition to the signs and symptoms of the virus. In particular, individuals are advised to be aware of any signs and symptoms of Ebola during and after travels. They are required to report and seek specialized medical attention as soon as they notice the symptoms related to Ebola virus.
The most obvious safety prevention technique is avoiding travels to areas of known outbreaks. In the United States for instance, travelers are required to check relevant information and research on potential areas of outbreak via relevant websites. This ensures that the patients are aware of their travel destinations at all times.
Finally, washing of hands in a frequent manner is also a mode of preventing the spread of the contagious disease. Similar to other communicable diseases, washing hands using hand rubs that are predominant alcoholic helps to prevent the virus. In addition, the use of soap and water to wash hands is also an effective preventive measure. The above safety techniques have been core in ensuring that the spread of the virus to relatively sustainable levels in society.
These relatively new techniques to control the spread of the Ebola virus have already been met by a number of challenges. One such challenge is the lack of awareness about the general signs and symptoms of the deadly virus by the general public. This has in more cases resulted to lack of identification of suspect cases at early stages which could be the difference between the death and survival of the patient.
The levels of preparedness by the Ebola response teams have been generally lacking. Given the sudden onset of the disease, the lack of isolation facilities in the response centers has epitomized the lack of preparedness to deal with the biological hazard. Overall, the discipline of health and safety needs to do more to bring sanity in the control and management of the spread of Ebola as well as other biological hazards. In as much as the cure may be nonexistent, it would be rational for the safety realisms to conduct thorough sensitization campains and promote the safety prevention techniques against the deadly virus.
CDC Guidance on Ebola Virus. (2014). Retrieved from http://books.google.co.ke/books?idAJ&pg=PT122&dq=symptoms+of+ebola&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5BJdVP75BdXvat-3gbgB&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=symptoms%20of%20ebola&f=false
Diseases and disorders. (2007). New York: Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=-HRJOElZch8C&pg=PA303&dq=preventive+measures+against+ebola&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0BNdVNbOLZPbavmMgdgJ&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=preventive%20measures%20against%20ebola&f=false
Nall, R. (2014, October 20). Ebola Virus and Disease. Healthline. Retrieved from http://www.healthline.com/health/ebola-hemorrhagic-fever#Overview1
Smith, T. C. (2009). Ebola and Marburg viruses. New York: Chelsea House. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=u22zQ669ZfoC&pg=PA36&dq=causes+of+ebola&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gRZdVM7fHcziao6CgcAC&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=causes%20of%20ebola&f=false