You’ve seen TV news packages and read headlines on social media, but do you know the facts about the risk of Ebola infection?
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, explains the importance of the infection timeline and the risk of spreading infection.
According to Hotez, the amount of virus in the body in the early stages of the infection is actually quite low, so the risk of transmitting the virus to another individual is also low. Later in the infection period, the amount of particles in a person and on their skin increases.
“This is why I say, don’t worry about individuals on cruise ships, airplanes or coming into casual contact during the early stages of infection because the amount of virus in them is so low,” said Hotez. “However, if you encounter someone who is very sick or dying in the hospital, that individual has a lot of virus, and that’s why you need special protective equipment. This explains why the people who are becoming sick in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are healthcare workers, those who are forced to take care of sick family members and those burying loved ones who have just died.”
-By Andy Phifer