BY DR. DATTENBERG-DOYLE
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Ebola Virus Disease: EVD
WHAT IS IT?
- Ebola is a severe fever that can kill humans
- Humans catch it from wild animals (bats, monkeys, apes) and through raw bush meat.
- The virus is passed on through direct contact with the sweat, saliva, blood, milk, urine, vomit or semen.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Sudden high temperature, fever, sweating
- Headache, muscle pain & sore throat
- Vomiting, skin rash & diarrhea
- Internal and external bleeding
- Symptoms take up to three weeks to show
HOW DO WE AVOID IT?
- Don’t touch fruit bats, monkeys & apes
- Cook all meat through before eating
- Wash hands with soap frequently
- Avoid group meetings and hand shaking
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Ebola is not a punishment. Those who are sick have not done wrong
- Ebola can kill anybody – young or old, rich or poor, good or bad.
- Ebola does not come from drugs. It comes from contact with sick people.
- Ebola can not be avoided or cured with herbal or traditional medicine
- Ebola can be treated by trained medical staff
- Ebola survivors can never catch ebola again. They can help others.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO?
If you or somebody you know has symptoms
- Get medical help immediately. Speed can save your life
- Do not try to cure yourself it will not work
- Avoid physical contact with other people whenever possible.
- Support doctors and nurses, help them do their job
- If you have to be in isolation do not fight it. It will be safer for all
- Don’t touch an infected person. If you do, wash your hands and clothes.
- Look out for symptoms for up to 21 days after contact with infection
- Your home must be disinfected by medical staff after any infection
WHAT HELP DO WE GET?
Help is coming from Sierra Leone and the World
- 2 vaccines are being tested on humans now
- Tests for EVD are being improved
- New blood products are being tested
- New drugs are being tested
- New mobile hospitals have been opened
- Quarantine areas have been introduced
- World Health Organisation rules followed
- Checkpoints on major highways have been set up
- Emergency Operations Centre set up
- Medical staff have been sent. They have to wear protective suits to avoid infection
- Strict hygiene procedures are followed to stop infection spreading in medical centres
- All medical staff are tested to ensure they are healthy
HOW CAN WE HELP?
- We have to look out for one another
- Each person’s behaviour is important
- Trust the medical teams – they can help
- Take your loved ones to the medical centre
- Do not reply on herbal treatments or cures
- Support the house to house campaigns
- Respect quarantine arrangements
- Keep your distance from others if infected
- We have to look out for one another
HELP THE GOVERNMENT OF SIERRA LEONE
Your Government has a hard job to do. The GOSL is working on behalf of all Sierra Leoneans. Other international agencies are also trying to help. They can only succeed with your support and cooperation.
SUMMARY: THINGS TO DO
- Do not eat fruit bats, monkeys or apes
- Do not eat carcasses found dead in the bush
- Cook all meat thoroughly before eating
- Wash hands with soap before touching animals. If you have gloves – wear them.
CONTACT WITH PEOPLE
- Do not touch other people without protecting yourself
- Avoid large groups
- Avoid bodily fluids – sweat, saliva, blood, milk, urine, faeces and semen
- Wash hands with soap or disinfectant after visiting hospitals and patients.
- Identify those with ebola symptoms. Take them to the the medical centre immediately. Don’t hide them, speed is important.
- Check yourself for symptoms 21 days after you have had contact with them.
- Bury safely those who die. Do not touch.
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