A patient, diagnosed with Ebola has been admitted to the University of Pennsylvania hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is the first case reported for 2019. Only about last year, a Nebraskan man was also diagnosed with the same condition.
The news comes about a time when America is facing one of the worst measles outbreak of the decade. Washington and Oregon have been the main victims though the outbreak is supposedly known to have affected other states too.
The diagnosis of Ebola should ring a bell in the health authorities’ ear. It can possibly be dangerous if no timely precautionary measures are taken.
The disease is known to be widespread in African countries. In August 2018, about 700 diagnosed cases were reported killing 400 of them.
The patient is undergoing medical treatment is kept well under supervision. So far, no exact reason has been identified as to how the person got infected in the first place. Scientific examinations are ongoing and results are awaited.
It is also important to note that the patient was initially diagnosed with some other health condition. Only after further thorough examinations did doctors confirm the presence of the Ebola virus.
What is the Ebola virus?
Ebola first originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. It is a deadly virus that is often transmitted by animals and in other cases humans too.
The virus belongs to the Filovirus family and can cause complications like hemorrhagic fever and continuous bleeding. Excessive bleeding is what eventually causes the death of the person. Because Ebola can widely spread from animals to humans, it is pertinent to avoid any type of contact with animal blood.
The virus can not be transmitted generally through the air.
Like for every other illness, there are certain risk factors that make a group of people more vulnerable than others. While contact with blood remains one of the biggest contributors, there are other mediums through which Ebola can spread. They comprise of:
- Breast milk
At the same time, it is also advised to avoid any exposure to infected objects like needles. If any animal has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus, it is better to keep a considerable distance.
Is the USA at risk of Ebola?
The USA has been a global tourist hub. It attracts a large number of foreigners from all over the world.
Although, Ebola is much less contagious than its counterpart diseases like malaria yet it is important to not exclude the possibility. It can spread from one person to the other in cases where excessive physical contact has been made.
In another situation, US citizens coming from Africa should firstly avoid visiting the affected countries. Even if the visit has been made, the health authorities should examine the person before allowing him/her to enter a public place.
It is certainly hard to answer the question at this place. Suffice to say, the USA is not heading towards an Ebla crisis. Yet, the severity of the problem should not be overlooked. The Health Department should take accurate measures so the problem is curbed entirely.