Wartime poster from the Ministry of Health
I am getting dozens of emails a day concerning Ebola. No surprise about that, but the vast majority are concerned with airborne transmission. In short, as many have said already, and as I have said repeatedly getting sneezed on by someone with active symptoms of Ebola is not advisable.
ALL body fluids are infected, that includes the respiratory droplets emitted when a person sneezes and any sputum thrown out when they cough or sneeze. Body fluids also include breast milk and tears. Here’s what the World Health Organization says about it:
The Ebola virus can also be transmitted indirectly, by contact with previously contaminated surfaces and objects. The risk of transmission from these surfaces is low and can be reduced even further by appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures.
Not an airborne virus
Ebola virus disease is not an airborne infection. Airborne spread among humans implies inhalation of an infectious dose of virus from a suspended cloud of small dried droplets.
This mode of transmission has not been observed during extensive studies of the Ebola virus over several decades.
Common sense and observation tell us that spread of the virus via coughing or sneezing is rare, if it happens at all. Epidemiological data emerging from the outbreak are not consistent with the pattern of spread seen with airborne viruses, like those that cause measles and chickenpox, or the airborne bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
Theoretically, wet and bigger droplets from a heavily infected individual, who has respiratory symptoms caused by other conditions or who vomits violently, could transmit the virus – over a short distance – to another nearby person.
This could happen when virus-laden heavy droplets are directly propelled, by coughing or sneezing (which does not mean airborne transmission) onto the mucus membranes or skin with cuts or abrasions of another person.(my emphasis)
So, at the same time as saying it’s not airborne they admit it can indeed be spread by coughs and sneezes…right.
This is just a play on words, using the scientific/medical definition and playing it off against the commonly understood definition.
Let me say again:
ALL BODILY FLUIDS FROM AN EBOLA PATIENT ARE INFECTED AND IF THEY GET INTO YOU THEN THERE IS A VERY HIGH PROBABILITY THAT YOU WILL BECOME INFECTED ALSO.
During WWll slogans and posters reminded people to be vigilant, to carry their gas mask, to dig for victory. “Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases” was another one, and it’s as true today as it was then.
This precise, scientific, medical speak clap-trap needs to stop. Information needs to be given in a commonly understood format if there is to be even a small hope of stopping the spread of Ebola. There needs to be no ambiguity, the public need to be told what they are up against in order that they protect themselves as best they can.
Government failure to represent the situation as it really is could result in mass casualties and death on a massive scale. For the tens of millions that still look to the government for their cue this will be a disaster. Those of us that have stopped buying into government lies and propaganda are usually of the mindset that the Sheeple only have themselves to blame. Whilst that maybe true, on this occasion that attitude, coupled with government misinformation could well be the death of us all.
On this occasion, making sure that the real facts of this outbreak are available to everyone will provide us with a much greater level of protection than we would otherwise have. Although herd immunity is not applicable to Ebola, herd consciousness might just well be the tool that stops the spread of this terrible disease.
Much of the spread of Ebola in West Africa is due to lack of information and lack of awareness of all modes of spread, we cannot allow that to happen here.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.