Ebola. A word that will send shivers up anyone, any age. The Ebola virus has struck America and Dallas has been the epicenter of its first two cases. While staying calm is so important right now, there are certain to be many questions raised by the seniors in your life. Why Dallas, and where might it strike next? Can I contract the disease? Will it turn into a pandemic, locally and globally? The world is experiencing the worst ebola outbreak in history.
Here are some things that you and your senior should be aware of regarding the ebola virus. Many seniors have suppressed immune systems, which makes it of greater concern.
- The Centers for Disease Control urge everyone not to panic. The risk of an outbreak of Ebola in the United States—or in Dallas in particular—is extremely low, because ebola is not spread through casual contact. A person must have the symptoms of ebola in order to spread it to others. Local and federal medical facilities and organizations are doing whatever they can to isolate people who may be affected to make sure they do not develop symptoms.
- At this point in time, you cannot catch ebola from the air. It’s not like the flu virus that can be spread by breathing. The only way you can currently contact ebola is by direct contact with body fluids of an infected person, such as blood, sweat, saliva, feces, urine and other secretions. It can be spread by a needle stick, much like AIDS or other diseases carried in the blood.
- There currently is no vaccine for ebola.
- The virus can live for up to 2 days outside the body, depending on such conditions as temperature, humidity, etc. Avoid contact with surfaces that may have been touched in any way by body fluids of an infected person. High-risk workers must wear protective biohazard clothing and are taught how to put on/take off the clothing.
- Practice good hygiene wherever you go. Wash hands with soap and water.
- Should you or a loved one be concerned about the possibility of infection, get medical attention immediately. It would be best not to enter a medical facility, but to contact/alert the facility beforehand.
- Remember that there have only been two confirmed ebola cases in the U.S. and those exposed to these people are being closely monitored. Should the disease escalate, authorities will provide instructions and have people wear protective gear. But at this point, there is little cause for alarm.
Homecare Assistance Fort Worth caregivers can talk about Ebola to your senior, and give them the very latest updates and information to ease their mind. We work to provide a safe, supportive in-home care environment.