With recent Ebola cases discovered in Texas and New York City, there is a lot of concern by all Americans about the virus. Unfortunately, it is more likely than not that there will be more diagnosed cases in the United States. With that in mind, The Harlem Times would like to inform you about the facts, as we know them, about Ebola.
Ebola has plagued Africa for decades, with the first outbreak occurring in 1976, but hasn’t been talked about in United States until recently. While there are a lot of misconceptions about Ebola, here is what we know to be true about it and how it is contracted.
Ebola is a virus that, when contracted, can lead to severe symptoms and can also be fatal. The only known way to contract Ebola is through direct contact with someone who has the virus. Touching the body fluids of someone with the virus, which includes blood, vomit, urine, feces, and sweat, or items soiled with these fluids can lead to contracting the virus.
If you, or someone you know has symptoms that are similar to those associated with Ebola, including fever, stomach pain, headache, diarrhea, weakness or vomiting, tell your doctor or call 911 immediately.
The Harlem Times spoke exclusively with New York City Councilmember Mark Levine yesterday, who represents District 7, about the breaking news story before it was confirmed that the doctor who traveled to Guinea and returned to New York City had contracted the virus.
“This is the home of a doctor who had been in Guinea in West Africa treating Ebola patients. We don’t know when he returned but it’s within the 21-day incubation period, so he was still at risk. He became symptomatic and called 911 at noon today. A special EMS crew came that’s trained to handle sensitive cases like this at about 1pm. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital which is (New York City’s) designated isolation ward.”
After the confirmation of Ebola, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio released a statement yesterday. “Today, a patient at Bellevue Hospital tested positive for Ebola. But let me be clear: There is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed. Ebola is an extremely hard disease to contract. It is only transmitted through bodily fluids – not simply by being near an infected person. New York City has the world’s finest public health system. We are highly prepared and 100% committed to keeping all New Yorkers safe.
So whether you live in New York City or Dallas, Texas, there isn’t any need to be panicked. There is a need for a heightened sense of alert, which includes taking some health precautions that you may not have done previously. Stay tuned to The Harlem Times for more information on this and other breaking news stories.