As news reports link Northeast Ohio and Summit County to the Ebola virus situation, rest assured Akron Children’s Hospital continues to work closely with other hospitals and health officials including Summit County Public Health to be prepared for possible Ebola patients.
As of Wed., Oct. 15, Akron Children’s has not had a confirmed or suspected case of Ebola virus. We have plans in place should we have such a case that would separate and isolate those affected from healthy patients and visitors.
It is safe to bring your child to our facilities for appointments and treatment. If you think your child may have symptoms of Ebola virus, call us at 330-543-2000.
If you have general questions that this article doesn’t address, call the Summit County Ebola Information Line at 330-926-3939, visit scphoh.org or call the Ohio Department of Health’s 24-hour call center at 866-800-1404.
Fortunately, the Ebola virus is not an overly contagious disease, but it is deadly and that’s what worries people. Taking time to understand the facts about Ebola can help ease concerns.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has information for the public and includes the below information.
Unlike the flu, Ebola is not an airborne virus and cannot be transmitted through droplets or particles that are floating in the air. Ebola usually does not cause respiratory problems; coughing is not one of the symptoms of Ebola.
Ebola is transmitted by contact with a symptomatic (showing symptoms) person’s bodily fluids, including: sweat, blood, semen, saliva, urine, stool, breast milk and vomit.
A person with Ebola is not contagious until they begin showing symptoms.
- Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
- Muscle and joint pain/aches
- Stomach pain
- Lack of appetite
- Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising) inside and outside of the body
Some people may also experience: rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing.
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days. As soon as someone exhibits the symptoms, that person is considered contagious.
Seek medical care immediately if you develop any of the above symptoms and have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Ebola.
According to the CDC, there is no FDA-approved vaccine available for Ebola. To prevent the spread of any virus including Ebola, everyone should practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
The cleaning agents that hospitals routinely use to disinfect patient rooms and other areas are effective in killing the Ebola virus.
If you travel to or are in an area affected by an Ebola outbreak, make sure to do the following:
- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).
- Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
- Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.
- Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.
- After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.
Read this blog post for tips on how to talk to your kids about the Ebola virus.