By Category
Primary Care - 72 post(s)
Allergy - 68 post(s)
Mental Health - 5 post(s)
Diabetes - 3 post(s)
Ask a Doctor - 3 post(s)
Immunology - 2 post(s)
By Author
 
Most Popular Posts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tags
Aging Allergies Alzheimers disease Anaphylaxis Anorexia Apnea Arthritis Aspirin Asthma Attention and concentration decline Back Pain Backpacking Bee Stings Bicycling Blood Clots Blood Pressure BMI Body Mass Index (BMI) Bulimia Burn Camping Cancer Cardiovascular Disease Children Cholesterol Christmas Chronically Ill Cough Suppressant Depressed Diabetes Dining Drivers License Driving Impairment Dry Eye Syndrome Dust Eating Egg Endocrinology Enterovirus Epinephrine EpiPen Eugene Marathon Excercise Exercise Fibromyalgia Fitness Flu Shots Food Food Allergies Gastroenteritis Hair Donation Hair Loss Heart Disease Hiking Hives Hobby Hodgkin Lymphoma Hypothyroidism Immunology Insects Life Expectancy Locks of Love Marfan Syndrome Meditation Memory Changes Memory Loss Menopause Mold Multiple Sclerosis Nasal Congestion Nasal Irrigation Nutrition Nuts Obesity Olympics Organ Donation Parkinsons Peanut Allergy Pets Planning Poison Oak Pollen Post-Nasal Drip Prevention Prostate Prostate Cancer PSA Test Racing Rash Running Safety Sensory and Perceptual Declines Sex Shingles Skin Skin Cancer Sleep Smoking Summer Camp Summer Safety Sun Sun Protection Sunscreen Swimming Tai Chi Thyroid Travel Triathlon Trouble swallowing UV Vaccines Volunteer Wellness Whooping Cough Women Workplace Yoga

Jason H. Friesen, M.D.

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.

Should you worry about Ebola?

Posted by on in Allergy
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print
  • PDF

141104Ebola1It seems every other news article lately is about Ebola. While it mostly seems to be a problem a world away, we all know that air travel has made our globe a much smaller place, so it seems appropriate to talk a little about Ebola in order to match our concern with our level of risk.

What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus found in a family of closely related viruses called filoviruses. They get their name from its microscopic appearance, which resembles the filament of a light bulb or a strand of spaghetti. Although the current epidemic in Africa has been big news, it is not a new virus. It was first identified in 1976 in a cluster of cases along the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Small epidemics have occurred over the years in various locations on the African continent.

Why is it dangerous?
Currently, there isn’t a known medical therapy to treat the virus. Ebola kills its patients by causing damage in the lining of small blood vessels in the body, which leads to uncontrollable bleeding. Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and a patient’s immune response.

How does it spread?
It is important to realize two key factors: First, Ebola does not spread via airborne particles. It is spread by contact with infected bodily fluids. Second, patients who have the virus but do not exhibit symptoms are not infectious. Initially, the virus is found in tissues of the body, like the liver and spleen. The virus spreads to the blood (and the patient’s body fluids become infectious) at the same time the chief symptoms appear: fever, headache, diarrhea and bleeding.

Is Ebola likely to become a big problem in the U.S.?
Simply, no. While there may be sporadic cases of Ebola in people who were exposed to infected patients and who’ve traveled here from Africa (primarily from three countries: Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone), the risk to the general public is minimal. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s infrastructure and ability to track and monitor possible patients is quite robust, therefore, a community outbreak is unlikely. There is no need to avoid contact with people that do not exhibit symptoms, even if they have recently travelled to Africa.

The bottom line?
The CDC says: “Ebola poses no substantial risk to the U.S. general population … Ebola is not spread through casual contact; therefore, the risk of an outbreak in the U.S. is very low.”

If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact your doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board certified in pediatrics, as well as allergy and immunology, Dr. Jason Friesen sees patients of all ages. Caring and bright, he is passionate about finding a balance between the seriousness of food allergies and the importance of leading full and normal lives