Ebola virus: 7 tips to prevent it

By Ritu Singh | Last Updated: Aug 24, 2014, 12:26 PM IST

Ritu Singh

The rare but deadly virus, Ebola has induced panic all over the world. With a fatality rate of up to 90%, it sure is a matter of grave concern. The list of affected countries is currently limited to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria but it can soon break out in other countries too. World Health Organization has advised India to further strengthen its infection control mechanism and surveillance to prevent an outbreak of Ebola virus disease like the current one in western Africa.

So, one should be vigilant enough and not let negligence creep in. Currently there is no vaccine available for humans. But the infection can be controlled through the use of recommended protective measures such as:

Avoid travelling to affected countries

Unless it is a matter of grave concern, avoid travelling to the areas or countries where the virus has been found. If you are planning to travel to West African countries give it a miss.

Know all about the virus

Education and information is the best way to save yourself from unnecessary dangers. Whenever there is any disease outbreak, make sure that you don't remain ignorant and use all your resources to read and understand about it and don't spread false facts about it. Know the symptoms, modes of transmission and preventive measures to avert the disease.

Practice good hygiene: 

Viruses like Ebola thrive in conditions where there is lack of hygiene. Skin and eyes are the suggested routes for viral entry and also food and water serve as a source of entry. So practice normal hygiene like washing your hands before eating and disinfecting surfaces. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as often as possible when water is not available.

Do not consume under-cooked and bush meat:

It is believed that the virus seems to have transferred to humans through animals. All the animal products you consume should be washed strictly and cooked completely. So avoid eating undercooked meat at all costs. Also do not eat any kind of wild game or bush meat as main carrier of this virus are bush meats.

Avoid contact with blood and body fluids:

Avoid any contact with infected people as Ebola virus spreads through all body fluids including blood, semen, saliva, sweat, urine, fecal matter and vomit of infected individuals.

Wear protective clothing: 

Health care workers are advised to wear masks, gloves, and goggles whenever they come into contact with people who may have Ebola. Keep infected people isolated from others and dispose off needles and sterilize other instruments.

Treat injuries: 

Any sort of cuts and bleeding injuries should not be exposed and should be kept covered. These should be treated immediately as the virus can enter the body through the open wounds.