Health Topics

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Ebola InfographicEbola Virus

Description: The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which is often fatal if untreated. 

Transmission: Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.

Symptoms: The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

Risk: Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with the blood or body fluids of sick patients. People also can become sick with Ebola after coming in contact with infected wildlife.

Prevention: Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.

How do I protect myself against Ebola? If you must travel to an area affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak, protect yourself by doing the following:
  • Wash hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with blood and body fluids of any person, particularly someone who is sick.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
  • Do not touch the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
  • Do not touch bats and nonhuman primates or their blood and fluids and do not touch or eat raw meat prepared from these animals.
  • Avoid facilities in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. Embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on medical facilities.

Seek medical care immediately if you develop fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bruising or bleeding.

Limit your contact with other people until and when you go to the doctor. Do not travel anywhere else besides a healthcare facility.

For more information:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/
http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/11/health/ebola-fast-facts/


Community Associated MRSA and Staph Infections

Staph bacteria are one of the most common causes of skin infections in the United States. Most of these skin infections are minor such as pimples or boils and can be treated without antibiotics. However, staph bacteria can also cause serious infections, including those resistant to antibiotics, also known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).

Although most staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently in persons in hospitals, the infection can also be transmitted in settings outside hospitals and are referred to as community acquired MRSA.

MRSA in the community usually manifests as a skin infection such as a pimple or boil and worsens rapidly.

Staph infections and MRSA can be prevented by practicing good hygiene.

  • Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or bandages.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.

 For more information:

www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html
https://www.uhs.uga.edu/healthtopics/staph.html
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/ss/slideshow-closer-look-at-mrsa
http://www.staph-infection-resources.com/info/mrsa-pictures/
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/mrsa_infection/article_em.htm